As mentioned in my previous post on Red Velvet Cupcakes, I was given the honor to help my alma mater to bake and cook the dishes to be featured in their 80th anniversary school recipe calendar. These recipes are contributed by the staff and old girls and PSG was approached to help to replicate these dishes for the phot0-taking. I was tasked to be in-charge of the Roast Chicken and was so excited about it. I was ready for the challenge and glad to pull it off (^-^) Though in the end, this particular recipe was not featured in the calendar, it went into my own personal list of “Favourite Recipes” and a keeper!
For Christmas this year, I decided to do this chicken again. I couldn’t wait to present this to my family and was really hoping that they would like it. We usually would not have turkeys for Christmas as we do not really fancy the meat. Hence, we would often substitute with a roast chicken instead.
I was having difficulties finding fresh rosemary. This is always the case near the festive season when certain ingredients and condiments would be out of stock. Combing many NTUC Fairprice and Cold Storage, they were sold out everywhere (><) Luckily I was meeting my dearie uni friends at ION one of the evenings and I was somehow confident that Jason’s Gourmet Market would not disappoint me. And I got it! (^O^) I have also replaced enoki with shimeji for some embarrassing personal reasons (#><#) I always have those irritating enoki stuck in between my teeth! Shh …. I know it’s so unglam! Anyway, shimeiji does taste better right? Kekeke…
Here’s the recipe with slight modification. A 1kg chicken isn’t that big and I’m sure you will agree even more after seeing the chicken being snapped up by everyone at the table (^-^)
1kg kampong chicken (The second time I was doing for the Christmas dinner, I used a Sakura chicken.)
freshly ground black pepper
4 large potates, peeled (I used 6-8 baby potatoes instead as I thought they looked more adorable)
1 large lemon
1 whole bulb garlic, broken into cloves
1 handful fresh rosemary springs
4 smoked streaky bacon (I used 8. 4 for the layering and crushing and 4 to wrap the shimeji)
1 pack of shimeji mushrooms
1 pack of mini Portobello mushrooms
1) Remove the innards of the chicken and clean the chicken. Well, I know there has been some controversies about whether one should clean the chicken before cooking. Sorry but I would still prefer to clean it. I always do without the head and neck. I think most of us would do that for roast chicken, wouldn’t we? Looks more appetizing that way too. Drain and pat dry the chicken. Rub the chicken inside and out with generous amount of salt and the black pepper. Marinate and refrigerate overnight.
2) Preheat your oven to 190 deg cel. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Cut the potatoes into golf-ball-sized pieces, put them in the water with the whole lemon and the garlic cloves. Cook for 12 minutes. Drain and pour away the water. Allow to steam dry for 1 minute (this will give you crispier potatoes), then remove the lemon and garlic. Toss the potatoes in the pan while still hot so that their outsides get chuffed up and fluffy – this will make them lovely and crispy when they roast.
3) While the lemon is still hot, carefully stab it about 10 times. Take the chicken out of the fridge, pat it with kitchen towel and rub it all over with olive oil. Push the garlic cloves and whole lemon into the cavity, then put the chicken into a roasting tray and cook in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes.
4) You may make use of this 45-min to start preparing the bacon and shimeji rolls. Cut the bacon into shorter strips, long enough to wrap and roll up a small bunch of the shimeji mushrooms. Secure the ends of the bacon strips with a toothpick. Set aside.
5) Remove and place the chicken on a plate. Some lovely fats should have cooked out of it into the roasting tray, so toss the potatoes in this with the rosemary. Shake the tray around. then make a gap in the middle of the potatoes and put the chicken back in there. Lay the remaining 4 strips of uncut bacon over the chicken breast and further roast the chicken for 45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. At the last 20 minutes of the roasting, take out the tray to add in the rolled shimeji and the whole pieces of the mini Portobello mushrooms. You may place the mushrooms under the chicken for better absorption of the flavor.
6) When the 45 minutes is up (or when chicken is cooked), remove the bacon and crumble it over the potatoes. Then remove the lemon and garlic from the inside of the chicken, squeeze all the garlic flesh out of the skin, mush it up and smear it all over the chicken. Discard the lemon and rosemary and carve the chicken at the table.
Enjoy! Bon appetite!