Sunday, 22 July 2012

roast chicken with figs, lavender and vin santo



... there's been quite a bit in the UK media recently about what the fooderati are calling 'roast chicken porn' and the clique of restaurateurs who specialise in just roast chicken... I guess it's clever because as we all know the humble chicken is one of the easiest meats to cook both badly and well... there is, after-all nothing worse than a dry lump of tasteless breast... but pick the right bird, mine was a free-range girl from Marks and Spencer... give her the plush treatment she deserves and you should be able to sit back and enjoy a thrilling, juicy, taste sensation in just under two hours...

... mum is here for her annual birthday weekend extravaganza, although it's a little tamer than usual as my brother and his family are not with us this year plus The Viking is off visiting one of his oldest friends who is also celebrating a birthday... so it's just me, mum and Eric - my kind of step-dad (saying he's mum's boyfriend at their age just sounds wrong...) and we're spoiling ourselves food-wise all weekend!


roast chicken with figs, lavender and vin santo
we kind of cobbled this one together whilst standing in the kitchen with the naked bird... mum was staring at my kilner jars up on a high shelf and asked me what was in them... I couldn't quite remember but on opening were revealed to be some lovely dried figs... mum instantly went into what can only be described as a food frenzy and told me to grab some lavender and sherry and we've got ourselves something special... couldn't find any sherry but I did have an unusual bottle of Vin Santo sent to me by someone... I can't remember who but choclette probably knows... anyhoo, the resulting chicken tasted as fabulously theatrical as it sounds but I think you'll agree that the photo's speak for themselves...

1 medium free-range bird
6 sprigs of fresh lavender
1 medium onion - roughy sliced
1 small glass of Vin Santo or other medium sweet sherry
roughly 8 whole dried figs

- prepare your chicken by placing it in a large bowl and pouring boiling water over it... let it sit in the water for at least 10 minutes... don't ask me why this is done... my mother always did it this way and it works for a wonderful moist chicken with a crispy skin

- place chicken breast-side down into an oven-proof dish, stuff with the sliced onion, surround with lavender and figs and bung in an oven for one hour on a medium heat (170C)

- after one hour turn chicken over so it is breast side up, pour over the vin santo and a large mugs worth of water and roast on a higher oven (190C) for anywhere up to another hour, checking frequently to make sure it's not burning or drying out... a little more water can be added at any stage to create a fine gravy

- after the second hour take chick out of the oven and let it sit whilst you cook the veg...

eat and of course, enjoy!

19 comments:

  1. Oh my God, Dom, Dom, Dom, this sounds absolutely divine. Definitely one to put into the repertoire.

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  2. 2 hours seems a bit long. Is it because of the vegetation stuffed into it. It certainly looks amazingly beautiful. Of course I am also groping at the temperatures. Is 170 a little under 350 Fahrenheit and 190 around 400 degrees? If you've done anything, it's to have made me hungry.

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    1. you're right Stephen, it wasn't quite 2 hours and I have adjusted my wording accordingly... the tempt is quite low on the first hour then it goes up and then you check on it... it was quite a large chick!

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  3. Mmm this sounds deliciously interesting. you gonna try it with your ten hour method?

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  4. How magic does that sound! Love the colour of the skin too, perfect!

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  5. Happy birthday Angela! Love Satu x
    P.s lunch looks divine.

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  6. Wow, this puts my roast chicken to shame! What a lovely image that is of you and your mum creating this dish, just the mention of dried figs and lavender is enough to send me into a food frenzy, too.

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  7. Lovely chickie, happy birthday to your mum!

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  8. Wow looks amazing! Happy birthday to your mum :)

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  9. That chicken looks utterly scrumptious... food porn indeed :) Hope yous all had a wonderful weekend. Happy birthday to your mom! x

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    1. P.S. Just voted for you for the Cosmopolitan blog award... Good luck :)

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  10. Nothing beats a good golden roasted chicken...this sounds amazing...I'm drooling as a I write.

    I would never have thought to use figs and lavender...I bet the cooking aroma was amazing...

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  11. Thanks for the birthday wishes Its a beautiful day here in Belleau & we are going to the beach The chicken was reallygood + the gravy.

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  12. The duck looks utterly amazing!! Hope your mom enjoyed your weekend!!

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  13. Ha! Another stellar chicken recipe! You know how you always think of me and my pies and cookies> I think of you and the most wonderful chicken dinners!

    Glad you had a quiet time with Mum and her special friend on the birthday weekend! Bet she loved the quiet attention!

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  14. This looks and sounds amazing, definitely my kind of food! Love the unusual combination of ingredients, I can't wait to have a go at it!

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  15. I adore lavender with chicken and that looks perfectly divine! I left a LONG comment earlier but it is nowhere to be seen....oh well, it was just saying Happy Birthday to Mum and pass the chicken over!

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  16. I'd say this qualified as roast chicken porn ;) What a gorgeous color and crispy skin you achieved, Dom. I've never used lavender or figs with chicken, but both sound delicious. And if it turns out looking like this...well...can't argue!

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  17. roast chicken porn indeed. that first photo is the definition of food porn. if it comes to roast chicken (especially if it's thighs), I always know I can trust you ;)

    happy birthday to your mum (p.s. I think it's so sweet that she leavea comments on your blog!)

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