Saturday, February 26, 2011

So Corny...

Last weekend we had a hankering for juicy, golden roast chicken cooked over the coals on the Weber BBQ. I decided to do something a bit different with the stuffing - replacing the standard herb stuffing with one based on a vegetable favourite - sweetcorn. I also added another of my most loved ingredients, proscuitto. The result was a beautiful savoury stuffing that had the lovely sweetness of the corn but also the salty tang of the proscuitto. To change it up a bit more, I also took fresh tarragon from the herb garden and made a little tarragon and garlic butter which I put under the skin of the chicken. As it cooked, the flesh was infused with the butter which made for a succulent and aromatic result. During the cooking process, I basted the chicken with the delicious juices to ensure maximum flavour.

Make sure you chose a good quality free range chicken and always dry your chicken inside and out with paper towels before you stuff or cook it. You will get great crispy skin and a much better result. Being only the two of us, we had heaps of chicken left over for the next day - I ended up throwing the chopped leftover chicken into a quick and easy fried rice dish. Worked a treat.

Some of you have been asking about the wedding plans - well, we have settled on the menu for the 16 April - our caterers have been completely brilliant so far and we have tasted all the delights that our guests will enjoy on the big day. We didn't want anything overly formal. Never been a fan of the alternating "beef or chicken" type of thing and also didn't want a buffet. We want our guests to have choice without getting up from the table, so we have come up with a great solution that will give us a touch of informality, but presented with a bit of style. I love the menu that we have created - can't wait to share it with you. Yes, you have to wait! I promise to post all the details with pics before we get on that plane to Paris for our honeymoon on the19th April.

Now, back to today's gorgeous golden, corny chook......

Chicken with Tarragon Butter
and Corn & Proscuitto stuffing

You will need:

For the chicken/tarragon butter: 1 whole free range chicken, 2 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon, 3 cloves finely chopped garlic, salt and pepper.

For the stuffing: 2 cups cooked corn kernels, 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs, 6 slices proscuitto, 1 large red onion, 2 cloves garlic, splash of olive oil,1 free range egg, salt and pepper, 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley, 1 tablespoon grated parmesan, pinch cayenne pepper, 2 teaspoons freshly chopped tarragon.

First, make your stuffing - Place the corn in a food processor and blitz it for a few seconds until the kernels are broken down into smaller pieces. You do not want a puree – ensure that the corn has some texture.

Chop the onion and garlic and cook with a splash of olive oil on a medium heat until the onion is soft. Roughly chop the prosciutto and add to the onion. Cook for a further 5 minutes.

Combine all of the ingredients together and mix very well until it binds well (clean hands work best for this) Stuff the chicken with the stuffing.

Now make the tarragon butter – combine the butter, garlic, tarragon, salt and pepper and mix very well. Gently push the butter under the skin of the chicken, being careful not to tear the chicken skin as you go. Try to get the butter down near the legs as well as the breast. Rub the chicken all over with a touch of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Bake for 60-80 minutes, depending on the size of your chook. Let the chicken rest, covered in foil, for 10 minutes once it is out of the oven.

Serve with baked potatoes, whole baby carrots and asparagus.


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