Roasted Chicken – Heston Style

Chicken 13

Whilst we were in Australia, Kris and I watched quite a few cooking shows in the evening. It was the first time that I watched a cooking show by Heston Blumenthal. This guy is a genius. He makes cooking a science class and breaks every rule when it comes to cooking.

Kris was very tempted to try to make the roasted chicken and it was incredible! The meat was pink (but not raw pink!) and so soft and juicy! This was definitely the most delicate roasted chicken I’ve ever tasted.

A little warning beforhand: Whilst Heston cooks his chicken to an internal temperature of 60°C, if you want to stick to safety guidelines your chicken should reach 75°C in the thickest part of the breast.

Ingredients:

  • 6% brine (300g salt dissolved in 5 litres of water)
  • 1.5-2kg chicken
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 bunch of thyme
  • 125g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for rubbing into the skin
  • 30ml dry white wine

For the gravy (optional)

  • 20ml dry white wine
  • 250ml chicken stock
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 sprig of tarragon
  • 1 sprig of parsley

Method:

1. Remove the trussing from the chicken then place it in a clean container. Pour over the brine ensuring that the chicken is submerged then cover the container with clingfilm and place in the fridge overnight.

Chicken 1

Preparing the brine

Chicken 3

Soak the chicken in the salty water. It doesn’t look promising, but I promise it’ll look better soon!

2. Remove the chicken from the liquid and dry well with kitchen paper. Remove the wishbone and place on a cooling rack over a tray.

3. Preheat the oven to 90ºC (about fan 70°C, gas mark ¼ **PLEASE NOTE** ovens vary so use an oven thermometer to get an accurate temperature).

4. Roll and pierce the lemon…

Chicken 6

… then place it in the cavity of the bird…

Chicken 7

…with half the thyme.

Chicken 5

Rub some butter on top of the skin.

Chicken 8

5. Place the chicken on the rack in a roasting tray and place in the oven. Roast the chicken until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the breast is 60ºC (this should take 3-4 hours).

Chicken 9

6. Remove the chicken from the oven and allow to rest for 45 minutes. Turn the oven temperature as high as it will go.

7. In the meantime, melt the butter in a pan and add 30ml wine and a few sprigs of thyme. Bring to the boil then remove the pan from the heat and use the melted butter to baste the chicken before and during browning.

Chicken 10

8. Once the resting time has elapsed, put the chicken back in the roasting tray and return it to the oven for approximately 10 minutes or until golden brown, taking care that it doesn’t burn.

9. Once coloured, remove the chicken from the oven and place on a cooling rack.

Chicken 12

Chicken 11

Kris served it with mashed potatoes and green beans.

You can also look up Heston’s video. It is a time consuming dish but worth the investment!

Nathalie

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