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Herbed Roast Chicken in Wine Sauce - meat

Posted by : Ruth Heiges

This is a labor-intensive recipe for chicken which might well make an
appropriate main course for a festival meal. It is from Evelyn Rose's column in
the Jewish Chronicle, UK, of January 3, 1997. She writes: "instead of rubbing
the bird with seasonings, they are actually put under the skin so that they
suffuse the flesh itself with the most glorious flavours ...  But it's
definitely worth the effort, not only for the flavour but also for the juiciness
and the rich, mahogany colour of the roasted bird," which can be served hot or


Serves 8. 
Leftovers keep three days under refrigeration. 
Freeze 3 months.

1 chicken or small turkey 6--8 lb (2.5--3.5 kg)
1 lemon, halved

For the herb mixture: 
2 large shallots or half a mild onion (peeled and finely chopped)
3 Tablespoons white wine
1 Tablespoon white wine or cider vinegar
4 rounded Tablespoons chopped parsley (about 1 oz/25 g)
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon or 1 teaspoon freeze-dried
1 teaspoon salt
15 grinds of black pepper
2 ounces (50 g) soft margarine.

To roast the bird:
2 teaspoons olive oil
salt and black pepper
1 medium onion, thinly sliced

For the sauce:
6 fl ounces (175 ml) white wine
15 fl ounces (425 ml) chicken stock
1 level Tablespoon cornflour mixed to a thin "cream" with 1-2 Tablespoons white

To make the herb mixture: in a small pan, simmer the shallots, wine, wine
vinegar and dried tarragon (if used) until the liquid has evaporated. Cool a
little, then beat into the soft fat together with the salt, pepper and chopped
parsley, and the fresh tarragon if used.

Preheat the oven to Gas No. 6 (400 F/200 C). Dry the bird well and insert the
lemon halves into the body cavity. Gently tease the skin away from the breast by
slipping your fingers under the skin, being careful to avoid tearing it. Spread
the flavoured fat between the skin and the flesh, either with a small spatula or
your fingers, then pat the skin back in place, making sure the herb mixture is

Place breast side up in a roasting tin (preferably on a roasting cradle or wine
rack). Tie the legs together with string and then paint the bird with the olive
oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

Roast for 30 minutes and then put the onion into the roasting tin and reduce the
heat to Gas 3 (325 F/160 C) and continue to roast for a further one-and-a-half
to two hours (depending on size). Baste every 30 minutes. When done, the juices
of the leg will run clear when pierced with a skewer or sharp knife.

Transfer the bird to a carving dish and cover loosely with foil. Leave for 20-30
minutes to settle. Put the onions in a small bowl for those who like them. Pour
off as much fat as possible from the roasting tin and then add the wine to the
tin, and stir vigorously to loosen the delicious sediment from the bottom. Pour
into a pan and bubble until the wine is reduced by half. Add the chicken stock
and bring slowly to simmering point. Slake the cornflour with a little extra
wine, then pour into the pan and bubble for three minutes to cook the starch.

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