Thursday, May 20, 2010

Fine Roasted Fowl with Duck Fat Potatoes

If you're wondering why there are no photos of this Fine Roasted Fowl all plated up alongside those ridiculous potatoes with crispy shells and mashy centres, it's because it pretty much got inhaled before it even got to see a plate. Fairly certain I was in some kind of trance and only snapped out of it when my plate was shiny and fingers licked clean.

The potatoes are par-boiled, roughed up in the pot, then roasted with a little duck fat. The chicken is infused from the inside with rosemary, and sage butter is pushed between the skin and the breast for sure fire crispy skin and succulent meat. There is no trussing, no stuffing or fussing.

I'm not kidding about this. I had a mental blank on how to make another roast chicken recipe sound like it was worth trying before I had dinner, but now I would go on for pages if the internet wasn't already dotted with suave swooning over Sunday roasts. Just make it. Please?

Edited to add: I'm not sure I have explained this clearly enough. The potatoes. Duck fat. Perfection. The insides are somehow even softer and fluffier than creamy mashed potato. The outside forms a kind of shell that is crisp but chewy and light. And that's just the potatoes...

The rosemary in the cavity of the chicken almost steams the breast from the inside, steeping it delicately but noticeably with its flavour. Somewhere inside the breast, this meets up with the sagey butter coming down from underneath the skin. There are layers people.... And like all yummy dishes there is a contrasting texture. Crisp, translucent, salty skin. I told you I could go on... *sigh*

Fine Roasted Fowl with Duck Fat Potatoes

1 whole free range chicken
handful of sage & rosemary
2 tabs butter
salt and pepper

1kg baby potatoes, chopped, skin on
500g sweet potato, peeled and chopped
6 tabs duck fat
salt & pepper

Dry the outside of the chicken with paper towel. Push your finger in between the skin and the breast from the cavity end to create two little pockets either side of the breastbone. Push in half of the butter and 2 sage leaves into each pocket. Rub a little butter over the skin and season well with salt and pepper. Put the handful of herbs into the cavity. Roast at around 190c for around an hour. Around 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time, take the chicken out and lift to pour out the juices from the cavity. Finish cooking until the thigh pulls away from the carcass easily and the juices are clear.

While the chicken is cooking, parboil the potato and sweet potato for about 10 minutes. Drain and rough them up with a fork in the pot. Melt the duck fat in the roasting tray over the stove and add the vegetables and shake around to coat with the fat. Season with salt and pepper and put in the oven to brown and crisp up.

Dish it up alongside some steamed greens and drizzled with gravy made from the pan juices. Remember to keep the carcass to make stock. I use the Aldi Free Range Chickens. They have a great flavour without being gamey, and never need much more than a little salt and pepper to be transcendent.

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