Warm, succulent, and stuffed with winter flavours... roast chicken is a classic for a reason.
1 whole organic free-range chicken crown
Sprig of thyme
1 fennel bulb, thickly sliced
½ cup white wine
1 cup brown chicken stock
1 tablespoon cream
1 small truffle
125 g (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon butter
1 eschalot (shallot), peeled, sliced thinly
1 clove garlic
1 celeriac, chopped into cubes
2 tablespoons thickened cream
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 Savoy cabbage
½ cup vegetable stock
Salt to taste
2 rashers dry-cured bacon, cut into lardons
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C (400 degrees F).
2. Separate the skin from the breast of the chicken by putting your hand at the top of the breast near the neck and rubbing gently under the skin. The skin should come away from the breast quite easily. Remove the wishbone. Now choose a stuffing to place under the skin.
3. Grate a quarter of the truffle and mix into the softened butter. Shave the rest of the truffle thinly. With your hand, stuff the truffle butter under the skin of the chicken, and then stuff the slices underneath the skin.
Cooking the Chicken
4. Once you have stuffed the skin with your choice of stuffing, lay the chicken down and insert Â½ a lemon and a sprig of thyme into the cavity. Rub salt over the top of the skin and follow with a drizzle of olive oil.
5. Place the chicken, breast facing upwards, onto a baking tray. Roast for 45 minutes, basting occasionally with the pan juices. Once golden brown, and the juices run clear, remove from oven, and rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
6. Heat the butter in a frying pan and sauté the eschalot, garlic and celeriac until warmed through. Cover with water and bring to the boil. Gently simmer for 10 minutes until soft. Transfer to a food processor and blend well for a minute until it is smooth. Add cream to taste and season with salt and pepper.
7. Cut the Savoy cabbage in half and cut again into thin wedges about 2 cm (1 in) wide. In a wide pan, bring the vegetable stock to a simmer and lightly braise the cabbage for a few minutes until the cabbage is just soft on each side. Drain the cabbage and set aside. Dry the pan and fry the bacon lardons. Sprinkle them on top of the cabbage.
Finishing the Chicken
8. Reheat the juices still in the roasting tray on the stovetop. Deglaze the pan with the white wine. Reduce for a few minutes, then add the chicken stock. Bring the mixture to the boil and reduce by half. Strain the sauce, season and pour back into the roasting tray. Add a tablespoon of cream and stir.
9. Serve rustically in the centre of the table: cabbage, bacon and chicken, with the celeriac puree to the side. Flip a coin to see who gets to carve and enjoy.
This recipe is from A Homegrown Table by Emma Dean, available now from New Holland Publishers