Sunday, October 24, 2010

40 Clove Chicken - delish

Mr Mel & I love to cook together on weekends, we cook well together, and have had some delicious dishes and some near disaster dishes.

A couple of weeks ago we cooked a
Roast Duck, after visiting the Nulkaba Hatchery. On that same trip we purchased a free range chicken. And yesterday we decided we'd cook roast chook for dinner, so I went googling.

I recalled watching a Jamie Oliver show where he cooked a 40 garlic clove chicken, so I searched for it, and one of the links that came up was to a blog I visit daily,
Not Quite Nigella, Lorraine from NQN has a brilliant blog, it's so obvious she's doing something she loves, and has found her calling, her niche so to speak.  I find Lorraine and her blog inspiring, and love trying her recipes.

So we got set to cook
NQN's Roast Chicken with 40 Garlic Cloves, Mr Mel was a bit dubious at first, thinking 40 cloves would kill the taste of the chicken, but once he saw the photos on the NQN website, he was converted, he is a sucker for cripsy skin chicken.

We don't have an oven proof dish with a lid, so we used a baking tray with foil on top, and cooked the potato, pumpkin & sweet potato separately. We added thyme to the rosemary to pop inside the bird, as our thyme is growing madly, and needs to be used up.

Our oven is very dodgy, we have plans to replace it, but that's another story..... In any case the 1.5hrs cooking time, that I'm sure works perfectly in 'normal' ovens, meant 2.5hrs in our dodgerama oven. Even with adding an extra hour, the chicken was tender and moist, with a lovely subtle garlicy sweet yet earthy flavour.

We poured the juices from the pan into a frypan, reduced them, then added some gravy powder, and squeezed a few of the cloves, mixing them through the gravy. We served some of the roasted garlic cloves with dinner (3 each), and popped them out of their skins, they we scrumptious.  We've put the rest (around 25) into the freezer to use in future meals.

The end result was delicious, thanks Lorraine :)

Recipe - from NQN site with a few of my own tweaks

1 free range chook

1 lemon, halved
1 sprig of rosemary
3 sprigs of thyme
40 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
1 tsp oil
1 cup white wine - we used chardonnay
1 cup chicken stock
salt & pepper

1 - Preheat oven to 180c. In frypan heat oil, brown breast side of chicken until lightly golden. Lift out with tongs. Stuff chicken with lemon, rosemary, thymem and about 8 garlic cloves. Tie up the legs, our cavity was still quite open with legs tied, so we stuck toothpicks through the bum of the chicken into the lemon, to hold it down. Place chicken in baking dish, add wine & stock and remainder of garlic cloves. Cover tray with foil. Bake for 1 hour.

2 - After an hour remove the foil, brush the chicken with a light coating of oil, salt & pepper. Bake for another 30 mins, or until golden & cooked, our oven is terrible, took another hour and a bit, most would take 30 mins.

3 - Remove chicken from tray, pour the liquid and any 'bits' into a frypan, reduce slightly to remove some of the liquid, mix through some gravy powder, squeeze a couple of garlic cloves, and stir well. Reduce again until consistency you want.

4 - Serve with roast vegies, gravy, and a few extra cloves per person.
Till next time,

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