Sunday, 2 February 2014

Two Way Chicken with Fennel

Time for a Sunday roast but I wanted to use the sous vide. After a little hunt around I found this rather interesting recipe that I could bend a little.

I took a small chicken and removed the legs and wings and took out the wishbone. I now pressed the crown flatter and placed it in a vac pac bag with a clementine .I still have a few, slightly dry examples kicking around after Christmas. No good for eating but perfect for adding a little flavour. I added some thyme, rosemary and a star anise prior to sealing the bag an popping it in to the sous vide at 70C for 2 hours.

The legs and wings went into an oiled tray with a little sea salt. Covered in foil it went into the fan oven at 120C for 2 hours. The recipe called for a second oven to cook off potatoes and garlic at 180C for 15 to 20 minutes at the end. Knowing the meat would need resting, I popped the potatoes, thyme and a bulb of garlic, broken into cloves (don't peel the cloves.) in about 10 minutes before the end of the chicken roasting, removed the foil from the chicken and knocked the temperature up to 180C. This crisped off the skin on the legs and the wings before I took them out to rest, back under foil for 20 minutes.

Just prior to this I thinly sliced the fennel (a mandolin is best for this) into a non-metallic bowl. A good pinch of sea salt, the zest and juice of a lemon were then added. This was left for around 20 minutes. Once the chicken was resting I placed a frying pan on the heat with some oil and butter. I removed the crown from the sous vide. Dried it and placed it in the now browning butter and oil mix. Once it was fried off on all sides and had taken on a good colour I placed it in foil to rest.

Next step was to wash the fennel in a bowl of cold water and then leave it to drain in a sieve. Once drained I placed it back in a bowl.  I removed the garlic cloves from the oven and popped the potatoes back in for a few more minutes while I finished off the dish. I squeezed the garlic out of the cloves into the fennel and mixed the two together.

Finally, to the plating up. I carved thick slices of the breast from the crown and served these with the leg and wing, some roasted potato and the fennel salad for a simple but very tasty alternative to the traditional roast.

The wine? A Cold Harbour Sauvignon Blanc 2012. A great light wine (10.5%) that means you can enjoy an extra glass or two on a Sunday without worrying about the effect on Monday morning. School night wine :)

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