Friday, 21 October 2011

Roasted Chicken

Cover image taken from

This recipe is adapted from one in Wolfgang Puck's "Makes It Easy" cookbook. As usual, some 'halalifying' was necessary: I substituted the alcohol with a squirt of lime juice and some pomegranate juice in my fridge.

Mama Pongkey's Whole Roasted Garlic Chicken in Herb Sauce

Ingredients for roast:

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped flat leafed parsley/celery shoots
2 tablespoons extra light olive oil (I ran out of extra virgin)
1 whole frying chicken, about 4 pounds

Ingredients for sauce:

1/2 cup pomegranate juice diluted with 1/4 cup water and squirt of lemon juice (I basically had 1/4 cup water, then added about 3 tbs pomegranate juice, squirted in some lemon and topped up to 1/2 cup with water. This is to avoid too much sugars from the fruit juice.)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons salted butter (I ran out of unsalted)
1 tablespoon dried'tarragon' (at least it looked like tarragon. The Iranian guy at the shop didn't know what it was called in English. I bought it anyway. Ha.)
Lime wedges for garnish


I preheated the oven to 230 degrees Celcius. I then tossed together the parsley/celery and garlic slices, then eased this mixture in between the skin and meat of the chicken. Then I gave the old bird a good massage with olive oil and a salt & pepper body rub.

I placed the chicken in a pan in the oven lying on its breast, and set the timer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes are up, I turned the temperature down to 170 degrees Celcius (I forgot this part, and only turned down the temperature only after 10 minutes!!! Eeek one side will be more tanned than the other. LOL), flipped the bird to its side and turned the timer on for 15 minutes. And repeat for the other side for another 15 minutes. For the last I flipped the bird on its back, and cooked till golden brown, which takes about 30-40 minutes. You'll know the bird is cooked when the juices run clear when the chicken thigh is pierced with a knife, or a thermometer inserted into the thigh reads about 74 degrees Celcius.

Then I transferred the chicken onto a serving platter, taking care to conserve the chicken juices in the pan in another bowl. I heated the pan over high heat, added the pomegranate/lemon juice, and stir and scrape to remove the glazed deposits at the bottom of the pan. Then I add the lime juice and boil to reduce the liquid by half.I added the butter while it is still chilled, cube by cube. Finally I stir in the dried herbs. At this point you are supposed to blend the sauce but honestly I couldn't be bothered. Besides, I like chunky bits in my sauce.

And here is the final result:

It tasted.. good. Mild flavours from the garlic and celery. The tarragon tasted quite smokey in the sauce. Parts of the skin turned out a bit crispy. I think if I roasted the whole chicken at 230 degrees Celcius I could probably achieve crispy roasted chicken. Maybe. Anyway we polished the whole thing off. Would I make this again? I would, but make it even spicier :-) Alhamdulillah.

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