Porcini-dusted roast chicken with lemon, prunes
( SERVES 4 )
When was the last time you slow-roasted a whole chicken and carved it up at the table, smiling happily as your guests gasp with the smell of crisp skin and tender flesh? When roasting chicken I don't generally stuff it, partly because I don't like stuffing - too many memories of uncooked onions and medicinal amounts of sage - and partly because the bird cooks better and is juicier without it. Sometimes I poke a quartered lemon, or the flesh of preserved lemons, or a handful of lemon thyme in the cavity. And don't forget the livers, which are so good sauteed with butter, oregano, shallots, sea salt and pepper until they're pink in the middle.
|1.8 kgs||Free-range organic chicken, whole|
|2||Shallots, finely diced|
|2||Garlic cloves, finely sliced|
|1 Tbsp||Olive oil|
|3 sprigs||Fresh thyme|
|½ cup||Pitted prunes, chopped|
|4 slices||Bread, torn|
|2||Lemons, very finely sliced|
|½ cup||White wine|
|½ cup||Chicken stock|
|1 to taste||Salt & freshly ground pepper|
|1 sprinkle||Porcini powder|
- Preheat oven to 180 degC. Put the chicken in a roasting dish.
- Saute shallots and garlic until soft. Strip the leaves from the thyme stalks and put in a processor with shallots, garlic, prunes and bread.
- Season and pulse until combined and stuff the chicken.
- Put the lemons, wine and stock around the bird, season and dust liberally with the porcini powder.
- Drizzle over a little olive oil before roasting for 80 minutes, basting occasionally.
- Let the chicken rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.