Nuttily perfect Roast Chicken, uses a combination of peanuts, aromatic spices and a touch of paprika elevate this wee chuck to to a whole new level.
I may think of myself as a European but I am still an Englishman at heart and we just love roast meat, pork, lamb, beef, turkey and of course the humble roast chicken. It really is not challenging cooking in fact getting a perfect roast chicken is as simple as adding some flavours, bung it in the oven and then wait until perfectly cooked.
A meat thermometer takes all of the pain out of that part, rest and then eat. As far as I am concerned food really does not get any easier than this, or in my heart of hearts any better than a perfectly roasted piece of meat on the bone.
For me there is just something magical about roasting meat on the bone, sure it means a little more work when carving. But removing the wishbone before cooking really helps this with poultry. Of course freezing the left over bones to make a good old fashioned stock or broth later is just a bonus but what a wonderful bonus.
As regular readers will know I do like to play around with flavours and textures. This perfect roast chicken is not nutty for any other reason than the addition of a wonderfully aromatic peanut stuffing under the skin of the bird. It also has a subtle hint of cinnamon, cumin and a little paprika and lemon juice on the skin to make it sing.
However you could go in any direction you want with roasting a chicken but stuffing under the skin is so much better than stuffing the cavity because it has a tendency to have an unpredictable influence on the cooking time. The reason for this is that it prevents from air circulating within the carcass.
Whilst this perfect roast chicken was in the oven I figured it would be rude not to roast some potatoes from the garden along side it. I have not put them in the recipe but simply boil some peeled potatoes for 20 minutes, drain and rough up the edges a little and throw in the pan alongside the chicken with a pinch of paprika.
Baste every so often during the cooking process and the little crunchy bits of potato that stick to the bottom of the pan will add a really depth top the gravy!
Now no perfect roast chicken is complete without an equally simple but wonderful gravy. Forget popping open a packet of gravy granules it really is exceptionally simple to sprinkle a little flour into the base of the pan after you have drained off most of the fat. Then cook off that flour and add some liquid stir it around add some butter and some seasoning and job done.
I have no idea where all these time saving ideas came from when they save no time and reduce flavour, throw them gravy granules in the bin, make your own gravy once and you will never go back.
This perfect roast chicken will comfortably feed a family of four, alas this is usually the case with a roasted joint which is why I don’t cook them very often. Roasting a joint of meat for two is far from ideal. However we had hatched a plan for the left over chicken that really worked well with the nutty stuffing, we made a lightly pickled cucumber & kohlrabi slaw and served it in flat breads with some sweet chili sauce.
Delicious, frugal and we will get the best part of three meals from just one chicken by the time we have made a stock.
- 1 Chicken, I find a 1.2kg-1.5kg Chicken is plenty large enough for 4
For the Marinade
- 1 Tbsp Sweet Paprika
- 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1 Tsp Sea salt
For the Stuffing
- 100 g Unsalted Butter, Softened
- 50 g Peanuts, Toasted
- 1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1 Tsp Ground Cumin
For the Gravy
- 1 Tbsp Flour
- 200 ml Beer
- Salt, To taste
- Pepper, To taste
- Mix together the ingredients for the marinade to form a paste and massage it into the chicken and allow to infuse for an hour at room temperature
- Whilst the chicken is marinading make the stuffing by toasting off the peanuts in a dry pan for about 5-10 minutes ensuring that they do nut burn
- Blitz the peanuts in a blender, don't turn them into a powder just break them up a little
- Mix the peanuts with the butter, cinnamon and cumin to form a butter paste and stuff under the skin of the bird and then massage the stuffing evenly over the breasts of the bird
- The best way to push the butter under the skin is to lift the flap of skin from the neck end of the bird and slide the fingers of your other hand under the skin slowly using your fingers to ease the skin away from the flesh working from the breast bone down towards the legs
- Place the chicken in a hot oven at 220ºC for 20 minutes the reduce the temperature to 180ºC and cook for a further 40-50 minutes.
- Use a meat thermometer to test the internal temperature of the flesh to ensure perfect cooking, just place the probe into the meatiest part of the bird not going as far as the bone and you are looking for a temperature of 67ºC straight out of the oven
- Allow the chicken to rest for 20-30 minutes which will allow the bird to come to an internal temperature of around 75ºC ensuring it is perfectly cooked and wonderfully juicy
- Whilst the chicken is resting pour out most of the remaining fat and place the roasting pan over a medium heat, add the tablespoon of flour and stir for 2-3 minutes ensuring the flour doesn't burn
- Pour in the beer and continue to stir until the gravy thickens, check for seasoning and serve
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1164 Total Fat: 79g Saturated Fat: 28g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 43g Cholesterol: 426mg Sodium: 1067mg Carbohydrates: 8g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 1g Protein: 99g