The constant drilling from the neighbours have left us a pretty hefty sleep debt. It’s a little better now this week but they are still hammering away. It must be my luck: my previous neighbour in Melbourne was pretty noisy too. Anyway…. I guess I haven’t been cooking many interesting dishes lately due to lethargy. But here’s one that I would love to share with you. Although very simple and involves hardly any work. It’s one of the most delicious meal I’ve had recently.
It’s been a long time since I’ve done a proper roast chicken. And even longer since I’ve roasted a whole bird. Unfortunately, as some of you might know that Frank doesn’t not eat Chicken, I have to stick with roasting parts of the chicken. I had wanted to make this after seeing Jane’s post. She takes amazing photos and really make an effort to style her food. Such an inspiration.
I was curious about Tarragon because I’ve never worked with this herb. Jane said in her blog: “Tarragon has a combination of many flavours, having a hint of mint, pine, pepper and hay with a slight bittersweet taste.” It’s great with Chicken, but also lovely with fish and egg dishes. Apparently it helps to reduce platelet adhesion (thus the blood coagulation) and may prevent Cardiovascular disease. Some initial study have suggested its potential as an antidiabetic and antihyperlipidemic (lipid-lowering agent). Although I suspect you probably need to take a significant larger amount of that.
I’ve picked the Maryland, my favourite cut. Maryland refers to the cut of whole thigh and drumstick (the Australian way), rather than the American dish of fried chicken. To maximise the juiciness and flavour, I’ve put the Marylands in brine before roasting. Brining is wonderful for birds and porcine as it keeps the cells hydrated, and you could also ‘marinate’ at the same time by adding various combinations of aromatics.
For the brine:
3 tablespoons Sea Salt
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoons Maple syrup
2 sprigs Tarragon
Juice of half a lemon plus some lemon peel
2 Star Anise
3 cloves of Garlic, smashed
Half an onion
Enough water (room temperature) to cover the chicken
In the Roasting Pan
2 Chicken Marylands
3 Sprigs Tarragon
1 teaspoon Paprika
1 Large Potato, cut into bite size
Few Plum Tomatoes
1 Carrot, cut into bite size, tossed in some cumin, paprika and honey
Few cloves of Garlic
To prepare the brine simply stir salt, honey and maple syrup in water and add the rest of the ingredients. Set aside and cover for at least 2 hours. Once ready to cook, discard the liquid and aromatics, there’s no need to rinse the chicken but pat dry a little.
Preheat oven to 200C, rub olive oil, paprika and pepper over the Chicken and place int the middle of the roasting pan. Coat Potato pieces with some olive oil and paprika too and scatter all vegetables except plum tomatoes around the roasting pans. Squeeze lemon juice all over, then cut up the lemon into small pieces and add to the roasting pan too. Cook for 30 minutes. Then add plum tomatoes and cook for another 15 minutes until Chicken’s cooked. To check, simply insert a skewer into the thickest part of the drumsticks, the juice should run clear. Turn off the oven and rest for 10minutes.
To make a super quick gravy, drain all the roasting juice out from the roasting pan and stirred in 1 tablespoon or more of Greek Yoghurt and mix well.
Easy peasy right? Of course, you can adjust this recipe to suit a whole bird.
The combination of lemon, tarragon and garlic worked like a charm! The Chicken was supremely tender and juicy, flavours permeated all the way in. The simple sauce made with the roasting jus and yoghurt was simply amazing, I couldn’t resist drowning all the veges with it. Divine. The cat went a little crazy with the aroma so I fed him a little bit of the meat. Sharing’s caring.
Because I was cooking for one, I reserved the second Maryland for the next day!
Thank you Jane for the wonderful recipe. I’ll be making this more often, reserving the whole bird version for future guests.