28 July 2009

roast chicken

This big fellow was one of the roosters recently slaughtered; I wanted to make its preparation simple to highlight the bird itself — this is the first animal I have eaten in whose slaughter I was involved. I made an herb butter with unsalted butter, salt, tarragon, garlic, lemon, brandy and thyme. I spread that in and out and under the skin of the breast.

I started the bird at 425ºF, rotating it from side to breast-up-to side and then leaving it on it's side at 350º. (Julia Child suggests the majority of the roast to be on its sides — switch sides halfway through). It finished breast up.

I made a quick gravy with drippings, butter and vermouth and we had this with lightly steamed and buttered zucchini and squash (thanks Molly!), a fennel-potato-spring onion gratin, and a brown rice "risotto" with porchini and reduced stock from those feet. The meat was incredibly tender, flavorful and incredibly satisfying. Nothing compared to those industrial birds.

Served with raspberry-cranberry braggot and finished with Molly's tart blueberry-peach crisp, this was perfect.

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