Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Perfectly Roasted Chicken

Nothing satisfies quite like the cooking and eating of a perfectly roasted chicken. The rewards for nominal effort are many – a home filled with heady cooking aromas; the tender pull-apart meat and crisp golden skin, and the exciting potential for what to do with the leftovers. 
The Perfectly Roasted Chicken takes this time-honoured classic and reinvigorates it by showing just how much enjoyment and variety you can spin from a simple roast.
Mindy Fox provides classic and modern recipes, plus inspirational side dishes and healthy yet delicious ideas for leftovers. Whether you’re looking for pastas, salads, sandwiches, small plates, brunches or lunches, it’s all here. Enjoy a Chicken Noodle Soup with Leeks, Peas and Dill, pass around Vietnamese Summer Rolls at a dinner party or indulge in Baked Macaroni, Chicken and Cheese. Whether you’re cooking for one, two, a family, or a party, The Perfectly Roasted Chicken delivers.

About the Author

Mindy Fox is the food editor of the US magazine La Cucina Italiana and a former editor at Saveur. She has written for many magazines in the US, including SaveurEvery Day with Rachael Ray and Prevention, and she has collaborated on a number of cookery books, including New York Times Notable Book of 2009, The Craft of Baking with Karen DeMasco. Mindy's cooking and writing has been inspired by extensive travels in France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Brazil and Turkey.

Kyle Cathie (New Holland) - $39.99

The publishers have kindly allowed me to reproduce the following recipe from the book which I have made and can warmly recommend.

Pot-roasted chicken with Bacon,
Celeriac and Rosemary
A heavy casserole dish. Piney rosemary. Sweet celeriac. Salty-rich back Serves 4 bacon. Crushed juniper berries. Homemade stock. Calvados. A good chicken. This is my winter roast chicken mantra. Say it to yourself a few times, make it once or twice and it might become yours as well.
Use a high-quality bird (see page 6); those with a solution added for flavour not only taste inferior, they dilute this bird’s delicious juices.

1 x 1.8kg whole chicken
5 rashers thick-cut back bacon, cut
crossways into 2.5cm pieces
675g celeriac, peeled and cut into
4–5cm chunks
flaky coarse sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
125ml Calvados
1 tablespoon rosemary leaves
1/2 teaspoon whole juniper berries,
coarsely chopped
Serves 4

Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5 with the shelf in the
middle. Pull off the excess fat around the cavity of the chicken and
discard, then rinse and pat dry very well, inside and out. Tie the legs
together with kitchen string.

Heat a 5.25–6.75 litre flameproof casserole dish over a medium heat.
Add the bacon and cook for 3–4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it
releases some fat and begins to brown, then add the celeriac and cook
for a further 5 minutes, stirring, until just lightly golden. Remove the
bacon and celeriac from the casserole, leaving it on a medium heat.
Season the chicken generously on all sides with salt and pepper (about
1 tablespoon salt), then put the chicken, breast-side down, into the
casserole. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, undisturbed, for
about 5 minutes until the breast side is lightly golden.

Turn the chicken breast-side up, increase the heat to medium-high and
cook for 1 minute. Add the Calvados and let it come to the boil, then
carefully ignite with a kitchen match, keeping the lid of the casserole
nearby to extinguish the flames, if necessary. When the flames die out,
add 125ml water to the casserole. Return the bacon and celeriac to the
casserole and sprinkle the top of the bird with the rosemary and juniper.
Seal the casserole with foil, then fit the lid on well.
Roast the bird in the oven for 1 hour, then remove the casserole,
uncover and leave the bird to rest for 15 minutes. Transfer to a
chopping board, carve and serve with the celeriac, bacon, pan juices
and flaky coarse sea salt for passing around the table.

Extracted with permission from The Perfectly Roasted Chicken by Mindy Fox with photography by Ellen Silverman. Published by Kyle Books, and distributed in New Zealand by New Holland, $39.99.

Wrangling the root
Celeriac is very simple to cut. Slice
off the top and bottom first, then,
using a knife or vegetable peeler,
cut away the skin and roots. Small,
heavy roots offer a denser, more
tender flesh than larger, lighter
ones, which may have hollow spots
inside. Be sure to cut celeriac to
the size indicated; smaller pieces
get mushy and larger ones won’t 
cook through.

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