Heston Blumenthal Roast Chicken

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

For the gravy (optional)

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

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.

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

Preheat the oven to 90ºC

Roll and pierce the lemon then place it in the cavity of the bird with half the thyme. Rub some butter on top of the skin.

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). I prefer it to be 75 degrees, as 60 is considered lower than safety guidelines.

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

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.

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.

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

To carve the chicken, remove the legs by slicing down where they meet the breast and splaying them outwards to expose the joint, which you can then sever.

Remove the breast by running a sharp knife deeply into the flesh along one side of the centre bone that extends the length of the bird, making a deep vertical cut. Then cut horizontally through the flesh at the bottom of the breast until the horizontal cut meets the vertical, separating the breast from the ribcage. Repeat the procedure on the other side of the centre bone. The breasts can then be laid cut-side down on the chopping board and sliced.

Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper

If making the gravy…

When the chicken has been browned and removed from the roasting tray, place the tray containing the juices on the hob over a medium-high heat. Add the white wine and scrape and stir to deglaze the pan. Add the chicken stock and cook until reduced to a sauce. Strain into a small saucepan.

Before serving, stir in the mustard and warm through. Finish with freshly chopped tarragon and parsley and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper

* Source: Heston Blumenthal at Home

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