Celebrity chef Tobie Puttock returns to humble beginnings by sharing a classic roast chicken recipe.
There’s no molecular gastronomy here, just good humble flavours. As always, it’s worth using the best-quality chicken you can afford. Slashing the legs of the chicken is a great trick that helps the marinade infuse into the meat.
10 sage leaves
1 lemon, zest finely grated, then halved
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 x 1.4 kg chicken
1 apple, quartered and cored
4 cloves garlic, squashed
olive oil, for drizzling
2 onions, sliced
2 carrots, thickly sliced
2 stalks celery, trimmed and thickly sliced
1 cup (250 ml) white wine
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Put the sage, lemon zest and salt into a mortar and use the pestle to pound until you have a vibrant green salt. If it becomes too paste-like, add a little more salt until it is grainy again.
Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the apple, lemon halves and garlic, then use kitchen string to tie the drumsticks together. (This helps the bird hold its shape during cooking and also prevents the ingredients in the cavity falling out.) Slash the drumsticks a few times – this will help the flavoured salt penetrate the meat.
Drizzle a roasting pan with a little olive oil and scatter the onion, carrot and celery over the base. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables, then rub the flavoured salt over the entire surface of the chicken. Roast the chicken and vegetables for 10 minutes, then splash in the wine and cook for about
1 hour more, basting from time to time to keep the meat moist. The chicken is ready if the juices run clear when you tip it on an angle. If the juices are still pink, it is not cooked through and needs a little more time in the oven.
Remove from the oven and serve the chicken and roasted vegetables immediately, with any cooking juices spooned over.
This recipe features in Tobie Puttock’s cookbook, The Chef Gets Healthy, published by Lantern, RRP $39.99.