Thyme for chicken roast
( SERVES 6 )
Don't worry if the grapes burst a little — their juice adds to the flavour of the pan juices. We enjoyed this fruity chicken with Selaks Reserve Pinot Gris.
|1 Tbsp||Thyme leaves|
|1||Apple, peeled, cored and diced|
|1||Pear, peeled, cored and diced|
|1 cup||Croutons, made from French bread|
|½ cup||Seedless grapes|
|½ cup||White wine|
|1½ kgs||Chicken, such as Rangitikei|
|2 Tbsp||Olive oil|
|2 Tbsp||Thyme leaves|
|1 bunch||Seedless grapes|
|1 handful||Thyme, small sprigs to garnish|
- To make the stuffing, melt the butter in a non-stick frying pan. Add the thyme, apple and pear. Sauté on low heat, until softened. Add the croutons, grapes and wine and simmer until the liquid has almost evaporated. Season. Cool.
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Wipe the chicken inside and out with a paper towel. Fill the cavity with the stuffing including the neck cavity. Truss or tie with string to keep a good shape. Brush with a little olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt, pepper and thyme. Place in an oiled roasting dish, breast-side up. Roast for 1 hour. Add the grapes, drizzle with a little olive oil then season. Continue roasting for another 30 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 74C.
- Remove from the pan. Tent with foil and cover with a towel. Rest for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, pour off any fat from the pan. Stir in the flour. Whisk in the chicken stock (if preferred, add a squeeze of Simon Gault’s ‘Don’t be Chicken’ stock for extra flavour) and boil, until thickened.
- Serve with the grapes on the side. Great accompanied by baked kumara or potatoes.
Hints for making the most of your roast
- Ensure the meat is at room temperature before placing it in the oven.
- Weigh the meat to calculate the cooking time.
- Use a meat thermometer to take any guesswork out of the cooking time.
- Cover the roast with foil after removing from the oven. Top with a thick towel and rest for at least 15 minutes (depending on the size) before carving.
- To help make a dark gravy, lightly brown the flour in a small, dry pan before adding to the pan juices and/or stock. Or place a couple of tablespoons of flour in a corner of the roasting pan.