Friday, April 6, 2012

Roast Chicken with Green Beans

Boulestin's ideal is a young chicken roasted on a spit with tender flesh and crispy skin.

To achieve a similar effect in a domestic kitchen he wraps the chicken in thin bacon fat and cooks it standing on a grill in the baking dish, basting often. When it's finished, remove the bacon fat and allow the skin to colour. Just before serving, pour melted pork fat through a paper funnel and set it alight as it comes out so drops of burning fat fall on the bird. The burning fat gives a slightly charred taste and appearance, he writes, "that crispness which is so appreciated in birds roasted in front of a wood fire".

Boulestin doesn't mention flavourings, but I put an onion, four garlic cloves, parsley and thyme in the cavity.

Serve with a watercress salad seasoned with salt, pepper and a little vinegar or lemon juice. Or, in this case, with roasted potatoes and green beans.

The gravy is simply a little water added to the roasting pan, and reduced. I poured off the pan juices into a glass, put it in the freezer for a few minutes and spooned off the fat before returning the juices to the baking dish and adding the water with a little salt and pepper.

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