lemon, garlic & riesling pot-roast chicken
I often come across the question “What is your favourite ingredient?” and always struggle for an answer – I’m fond of so many, it’s hard to settle on just one. But if I were forced to choose, my luxury option would be the glorious white truffle and my pauper pick, the humble chicken. Actually, after thinking it through it really is a no-brainer – apart from being incredibly versatile, chicken features prominently in many of my favourite dishes – chicken pot pie, buffalo wings, chicken karaage, chicken katsu curry, chicken noodle soup, roast chicken (preferably poulet de bresse!), hainanese chicken rice…the list goes on. Tonight’s plump corn-fed chicken got the one-pot treatment, slow cooking on the stove with lemon, garlic, shallots, brandy and riesling, then finished off in a hot oven. Moist, succulent bird and only one pot to wash? Perfect Monday night meal!
Lemon, Garlic and Riesling Pot-Roast Chicken
1 medium whole chicken
1 lemon, halved
3 tbsp olive oil
1 head garlic, halved
12 shallots, peeled
large bunch parsley
1 bay leaf
500ml (2 cups) riesling
250ml (1 cup) chicken stock
60ml (4 tbsp) cider brandy
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
Preheat the oven to 180°C (356°F).
Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the parsley and lemon halves, then tie the legs together with string. Rub the bird with 1 tbsp of the oil and season generously with salt and pepper.
Heat the remaining oil in a cast iron pot (dutch oven) over a medium flame and toss in the garlic and shallots. Cook for until lightly browned and fragrant, then add the chicken, breast down, to the pan. Sear, undisturbed, for 5 minutes, then turn over and colour the other side for a further few minutes.
Pour in the brandy to deglaze the pan (making sure you scrap of the bits stuck to the sides and bottom of the pot). Add the wine, stock and bay leaf, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and leave to simmer gently. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and roast in the preheated oven for an additional half hour, or until the chicken is cooked through.
Remove the chicken and let it rest on a serving dish. Return the pan to the heat and boil the cooking liquid until reduced by a third. Roughly mash together the butter and flour then add to the pan to thicken the sauce. Simmer for another 2 minutes then strain the sauce into a serving jug.
Carve at the table and serve with the gravy and a side of steamed veg (green beans or spinach would do nicely).