Turning the oven down a notch or two when roasting a chicken results in a really succulent bird. You need to allow a little more cooking time but hey, it’s not as if we are rushing out to a party or meeting up with friends at the moment. The addition of the fragrantly bosky porcini butter under the chicken skin helps to baste the meat as it cooks and, obviously, flavours the chicken as well. This butter would work wonderfully well with the Christmas turkey too-although you may want to double the quantites if you’ve got a big bird.
- 25g dried porcini mushrooms
- 100g slightly salted butter-I like Président –softened at room temperature
- 1.8kg oven –ready chicken, preferably organic or free-range
- 2 whole garlic bulbs
- 100ml dry vermouth
- 125ml chicken stock or water
- Put the porcini mushrooms in a coffee grinder and blend to a fine dust. Beat the mushroom dust with the softened butter.
- Carefully ease the skin of the chicken away from the flesh to create pockets on each breast and leg. Push the butter in between the skin and the flesh and massage the butter down and over the breasts and legs using your fingers over the surface of the skin. Refrigerate the chicken for one hour to allow the butter to firm up.
- Bring the chicken out of the fridge and leave at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile heat the oven to fan 150°c, mark 2. Put the chicken in a roasting tin and season with salt and ground black pepper. Cut each garlic bulb in half through the ‘equator’ and place in the roasting tin. Pour in the vermouth and chicken stock and roast the chicken for 2 hours, covering the bird with foil after 1 ½ hours, basting the chicken at least three times during the cooking time. Leave to rest at room temperature for up to 30 minutes before serving.