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Posts Tagged ‘Stuffing’

Lemon & Pistachio Chicken

Diana Henry is one of our favourite food writers and we can’t recommend her book of chicken recipes, A Bird in the Hand, highly enough. This lemon & pistachio chicken from that book is nothing short of delicious. She cooks this every year, and we think we may too.

Wine Suggestion: There’s a richness to this dish that demands an equal wine like Zind Humbrecht’s Pinot Gris Calcaire from Alsace that had an excellent balance of depth, fruit, freshness and texture.

Lemon & Pistachio Chicken – serves 6

  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • leaves from 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 70g unsalted butter
  • 120g shelled pistachio nuts
  • 40g white breadcrumbs, plus extra if needed
  • finely grated zest and juice of 2 unwaxed lemons
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • good pinch of caster sugar
  • handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 6 large skin-on boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 300ml chicken stock

Put the shallots, garlic & half the thyme into a pan with 50g of the butter and a pinch of salt. Cook over a low heat for 5 minutes, then tip into a large bowl.

Chop the pistachio nuts or blend in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Add the breadcrumbs and nuts to the shallot mixture. Add the lemon zest and juice, oil, sugar and parsley. Season well and stir to make a stiff, coarse paste. If the mixture is too dry add a little more oil and it too wet a few extra breadcrumbs.

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6.

Put the point of a sharp knife into the thicker end of each chicken breast and cut a cavity that runs along the length. Season the chicken inside the pocket, then use a teaspoon to fill the hole with the stuffing. Squeeze the sides together to close the incision as much as possible. Season the chicken on the outside, drizzle with a little olive oil and put into a roasting tin. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

When the chicken is cooked remove the chicken from the tin and skim off the fat from the juices. Put the roasting tin over a medium heat and splash in the white balsamic vinegar and stock. Bring to a rolling boil and reduced until slightly thickened. Add the rest of the butter and thyme and serve poured over the chicken.

(Original recipe from A Bird in the Hand by Diana Henry, Mitchell Beazley, 2015.)

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This roast chicken was inspired by Darina Allen, who had a new method for keeping the Chicken skin moist – using butter soaked muslin. It works excellently so we’re converts to this technique!

Traditional Roast Chicken with Stuffing and Gravy – to serve 4

  • 1 chicken
  • chicken stock

FOR THE STUFFING: 

  • 45g butter
  • 75g chopped onion
  • 75-100g soft white breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh herbs (we used parsley and thyme)
  • a little soft butter

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350°F/gas 4.

Make the stuffing: sweat the onions gently in the butter until soft, then take off the heat and stir in the breadcrumbs, herbs and some seasoning. Leave to cool.

Season the inside of the chicken, then half-fill with the cold stuffing. Put the rest of the stuffing into the neck end.

Weight the chicken and calculate the cooking time (15 minutes per 450g and 15 minutes over).

Melt 4 tsp butter and soak a large piece of muslin in the melted butter, cover the chicken completely with the muslin and roast for the calculated time. You can take the muslin off for the last 10 minutes if you want the skin really brown.

Check that the juices are running clear when pierced with a skewer, then leave to rest.

To make the gravy: spoon off any surplus fat from the roasting tin. De-glaze the pan juices with the stock and use a whisk to to stir and scrape the caramelised bits from the bottom of the tin. Boil it up well, season and thicken if you like (we like it runny).

Serve with greens and mash.

Wine Suggestion: Oaked white wines go well with roast chicken with Chardonnay being the obvious pick. We were a little extravagant and had a superb Chardonnay / Auxerrois blend from Zind-Humbrecht in Alsace. It’s a Vin de Table as Chardonnay is not an authorised grape for the region and as the wine is all about texture, minerality and structure , pushing the boundaries a lot, you could argue it is controversial on tasting as well; we thought it superb and thought provoking. As it opened up in the glass over the meal it worked better and better, matching flavours, complimenting them and adding nuances. The wine: Zind Z010 (obviously 2010 vintage, but Vin de Table wines are not allowed to say anything about vintage or region on the label).

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