First off, thank you to Palatable Jazz for becoming a follower of my site!
So, what’s new with you? I am inside quite a bit these days. The heat is brutal and I am certainly not one to court a sunburn. Damn…….when is Fall weather going to get here?!
In spite of that, we thought we’d heat the kitchen up by roasting a chicken. Poulet Roti au riz et aux figues in honor of Hadley Hemingway (The Paris Wife), which I finished reading last week. Review is HERE.
Since much of the book takes place in Paris (not at first...but they get there) it seemed a dish from Patricia Wells was in order. Well, that and my husband wanted this meal to pair with a bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
From Patricia Wells Provence cookbook:
“What would Provence be without the ever-present "poulet roti"?. You can't pass a village butcher shop without spying a rotisserie somewhere near the front door, with plump farm chickens turning at a measured pace, changing from pale golden yellow to a deep golden brown. On market days, gigantic trucks pour into the villagers, quickly laden with spits roasting all manner of poultry and meat. From "The Provence Cookbook"
2 medium onions, julienned thinly
sea salt, to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cups cooked rice
10 small fresh purple figs, stems trimmed and quartered lengthwise
1- 5 lb chicken, with giblets; cleaned and chopped
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp butter, softened
Brown Turkish Figs....because the purple ones are not available.
1. Heat oven to 425F.
2. Sweat onions with a pinch of salt in oil, covered until soft but not browned. Add rice and figs; cook 2-3 mins and season.
3. Generously season cavity of chicken and place giblets in cavity. That part grosses me out a little but hey, it honestly makes a difference regarding the final result. Stuff with rice and fig mixture and rub skin with butter; season with salt and pepper.
*The recipe never did state if the legs ought to be tied. I felt it needed to be tied or all the stuffing would fall out.
4. Place chicken on its side in a roasting rack and pour 1/2 c. water into bottom of pan. Roast uncovered for 20 minutes. Turn chicken onto its other side and roast for another 20 minutes
* Here is the part where you need juggling skills to turn the chicken. And yes, some stuffing did roll out. (sigh)
Turn chicken, breast side up and roast another 20 minutes. This should total 1 hour of roasting time; by this time, the skin should be a deep golden color. Our bird certainly was browned beautifully.
* By the way, if anyone has a suggestion how to turn a hot half-cooked chicken from one side to the other, without burning yourself, and keeping the stuffing from rolling out – PLEASE tell me the secret.
5. Reduce oven temp to 375F. Turn chicken breast side down, at an angle if possible, with its head down and tail in the air. Evidently this enhances the flavor by allowing the juices to flow down through the breast meat. Roast another 15 mins more until done.
6. Remove chicken from oven and season generously. Transfer to a platter and let rest for a minimum of 10 minutes and up to 30 minutes.
*If you want to make a sauce follow directions below. I did not have any of the juices left to make a sauce. So I didn’t bother. I moved on to step 8 in these directions
7. Place roasting pan over heat and deglaze; cook 2-3 minutes until liquid is almost caramelized; don't let it burn. Spoon off and discard any excess fat. Add several tbsp cold water to deglaze (hot water will cloud sauce). Bring to a boil and simmer until thickened.
8. Remove rice and fig stuffing from cavity.
A roasted chicken is a wonderful meal.
If figs are not in season you can change things up with pine nuts or anything seasonal which would make a good flavor enhancement to the rice stuffing.
Good food, great company and a fabulous wine.....I couldn't ask for more.
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