Melty roast chicken
"Our family decided long ago that the preference for chicken breast is a curious one, as the leg is almost always more tender and moist. This recipe is a foolproof way we invented of cooking a roast chicken so that the entire bird is moist, tender and the delicate flavour of the meat enhanced."
- One large fresh roasting chicken – size 20 or larger. The flavour of a bigger bird is almost always better.
- 200g cream cheese
- 1 baby leek
- 3 onions
- 3 cloves garlic
- ½ tsp black peppercorns, salt to taste
- Oil – I use canola, it’s healthy and this recipe is better with an oil that carries little flavour
- Cup red wine
- Spray oil
- Fry the onions gently in oil with the garlic until transparent, remove from heat and transfer to a lidded oven dish.
- Loosen the skin on the chicken breast by sliding a wooden spoon under the skin from the neck opening.
- Wash, dry and fine chop the leek. Crush peppercorns and crystal salt in a pestle and mortar. Mix the leek with seasoning and cream cheese. Carefully push the mixture into the neck opening and under the skin. You will see the stuffing clearly under the skin, plump over the breast. Tuck the neck skin flap back in to seal.
- Lay the chicken over the onion mixture; the meat juices and cream cheese stuffing drip down while cooking so the onions have a creamy consistency and flavour.
- Add a cup of red wine; this mostly evaporates, but keeps the onions from burning.
- Spray oil over the chicken, this helps it brown nicely. Cook at 175 for half an hour then lower to 150 for remainder of cooking time: depending on your oven, two to two and a half hours. Baste once or twice, but the lid helps keep the bird super moist and tender.
New World Wine Awards 2013 Top 50 Wine match: Spy Valley Marlborough Chardonnay 2012 or Villa Maria Private Bin Hawkes Bay Rosé 2013