Chicken Chapter Deux: Poulet Rôti sur Canape and Poulet Cocotte Grand Mère

Yet another tricky couple of days with chicken. I thought that roasting chickens whole would be a lot easier to manage than de-boned chicken. I thought very wrong. I’ve been lagging behind everybody else and now even the Chef has taken notice. Why can’t chicken and I just get along? I need to think about where I’m losing precious time.
a. Habillage: I didn’t think I would be particularly slow at dressing (considering my 3-day intensive duck de-gutting experience) but I am. I am finding pulling guts out very tricky. Is it because my hands are small or that they get warm really easily (thereby melting the chicken fat inside and making things much harder to grab hold of)?
b. Bridage: I’m not sure why I find this part tricky. I’ve knitted a couple of scarves, dabbled with embroidery, sown buttons badly, yet stitching up a chicken is daunting. I stand there looking around with my stupid face on, wondering if anyone else knew what they were doing after having done it already two days in a row! I feel like a numpty.
c. Preparing vegetables: I HATE turning potatoes. I would love nothing more than to be super speedy just so that I can get it over and done with, and I’m not sure what’s stopping me. I’ve seen enough gnarly knife cuts in class to put me off from getting too comfortable with my paring knife. Being a big baby when it comes to blood doesn’t boost my confidence either. I really need to grow a thick skin (buahahha gettit gettit?).

I’ve learnt every minute lost doing any step of the recipe multiplies itself exponentially and leads to me sweating buckets while trying to plate in a hurry with Chef calling out, “Who ees last? Ooh lala it’s Shmii? Who ees last? Shmii? Ooh lala.” Poulet à la Sweat is not going to rock the culinary world.

The ubiquitous roast chicken sandwiches on M&S and Boots shelves or served up “fresh” at Subway led me to believe that roast chicken was one of the most dull and dreary things to eat. Dry, bland, chewy, blech, vom. But when stuffed with heaps of thyme and garlic, and roasted slow and easy for forty-five minutes, the chicken looks beautiful in its gleaming golden skin and smells dribble-tastic when cut into. Proper yummy stuff. Both recipes have a jus volaille to go with. Jus is very simply made from using the juices from roasting a chicken to cook the sauce garniture, combined with stock and reduced to a sauce. I prefered the Granny Poulet Cocotte mainly because of the accompanying caramelised onions, pomme cocotte and mushrooms, and it doubled up to make a mean Tamil chicken curry the next day.

Poulet roti sur canape (I hate livers)

Poulet Cocotte Grand Mere (doesn't it look like the chicken's flipping us the bird? muahaha gettit gettit? I'm all about the puns today)

Munching outdoors in the sun is much more fun

Roast chicken leftovers jazzed up into a Tamil chicken curry (thanks beta!)

Poulet Rôti sur Canape, Pommes Pont Neuf
1 whole chicken, de-gutted and cleaned off glands
Bunch of thyme
8 cloves of garlic, 4 crushed and 4 left whole with skin on
0.5L Chicken stock
1 onion, ciseler (ciseler is too small in my opinion. Hacher or petit mirepoix would be a better option)
1 carrot, petit mirepoix
1 shallot, ciseler
100g lard, brunoise
150g chicken livers, concasse (chopped roughly)
6 medium-sized potatoes, pont neuf cut (5-6cm x 1cm)
Dry white wine
Dash of cognac and porto
1 piece of Pain de Mie (hollowed out for the stuffing)
Couple of knobs of butter
Bunch of watercress, rinsed
Sunflower / peanut oil for roasting and deep-frying
Salt, pepper

1. Season the inside of the bird with salt and pepper. Stuff with thyme and the crushed garlic cloves. Truss the bird by tieing the legs and wings together to make a neat little package, and tucking its tail in. Cover legs with foil to prevent burning. Preheat oven to 200C.
2. Season the bird well on the outside. Heat some oil in a large pan and roast the chicken on its side till it gets nicely coloured to a light gold. Flip over to its other leg’s side and repeat. Make sure the heat isn’t too much at any time to avoid burning (burning will rip the skin and make it ugly). Flip onto the breast side and colour and so the same with the bottom till it’s evenly coloured all over.
3. Baste the chicken with butter. Place in the oven and baste every 10 minutes.
4. After 20 minutes, add the carrots, onions and garlic with skin on to the chicken pan (don’t get any of the garniture on the chicken. Just around).
5. While the chicken is cooking, melt the lard in a saucepan and cook the livers in the lard for a few minutes. Add the shallots and cook for half a minute. Deglaze with cognac and porto and flambe. Pass the mixture in a tamis and reserve.
6. After a further 20 minutes the chicken should be done cooking. Check to see if it’s cooked by flipping it over to see the juices run clear. Reserve warm.
7. Degrease the pan and deglaze the garniture with white wine. Add stock and cook for 15 minutes. Strain the garniture. Return the stock to the heat and reduce to a sauce. Season.
8. Poach the potatoes in oil at 140C till it starts to float (this takes a good few minutes). Strain and drain. Return to fry in oil at 180C till golden. Strain, drain, season with salt.
9. Sautee all sides of the pain de mie in heated oil in a pan till golden.
10. Stuff the liver mixture in the pain the mie.
11. Remove the thread and foil from the chicken. Serve on top of the canape with fries and jus on the side.

Poulet Cocotte Grand Mère avec Pommes Cocotte
1 whole chicken, de-gutted and cleaned off glands, reserve the neck and the wings
Bunch of thyme
8 cloves of garlic, 4 crushed and 4 left whole with skin on
0.5L Chicken stock
1 onion, ciseler (ciseler is too small in my opinion. Hacher or petit mirepoix would be a better option)
1 carrot, petit mirepoix
16 small potatoes, turned
250g bacon, lardons
3 big mushrooms, escaloper
10 tiny onions, peeled
Parsley, hacher
Knobs of butter
Sunflower / peanut oil
White wine
Salt, pepper

1. 1. Season the inside of the bird with salt and pepper. Stuff with thyme and the crushed garlic cloves. Truss the bird by tieing the legs and wings together to make a neat little package, and tucking its tail in. Cover legs with foil to prevent burning. Preheat oven to 200C.
2. Season the bird well on the outside. Heat some oil in a cast-iron cocotte and roast the chicken on its side till it gets nicely coloured to a light gold. Flip over to its other leg’s side and repeat. Make sure the heat isn’t too much at any time to avoid burning (burning will rip the skin and make it ugly). Flip onto the breast side and colour and so the same with the bottom till it’s evenly coloured all over.
3. Remove the chicken. Add in the wings and neck of the chicken and roast for a bit. Stick the chicken back in and baste it with butter. Roast in the oven covered for 20 minutes, basting every 10 minutes.
4. At 20 minutes, uncover the chicken. Baste. Spread the garniture around the chicken and roast for a further 15 minutes uncovered. Check to see the chicken is cooked when the juices run clear.
5. Let onions caramelise in a saucepan with a bit of water, sugar and butter and covered with parchment paper over medium heat. Make sure they colour evenly all around.
6. Sautee the bacon in a saucepan. Remove and reserve. Sautee the mushrooms in the bacon fat till caramelised. Remove and reserve.
7. When chicken is cooked, remove and reserve warm. Degrease the cocotte. Deglaze the garniture with white wine. Add stock and reduce for 15 minutes. Strain the garniture and return the sauce to the heat to reduce. Season the sauce.
8. Roast the potatoes on the stove in some heated peanut oil. Colour all sides evenly. Finish to cook in the oven.
9. To plate, remove the thread and foil from the chicken. Reheat the lardons, mushrooms and potatoes together to serve with the chicken and the jus. Garnish with parsley.

Comments
One Response to “Chicken Chapter Deux: Poulet Rôti sur Canape and Poulet Cocotte Grand Mère”
  1. Wow that looks absolutely magnificent! If I were served that that would take my breath away😀 It doesn’t look like you and chicken don’t get along at all I must say!😀

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