I’m really enjoying watching Rick Stein’s Secret France on TV and couldn’t resist buying a copy of the accompanying book when I saw it on offer in Waitrose.
Neither could I resist trying his ‘Rotisserie-style chicken’ for the family Sunday meal yesterday. Rotisserie chicken brings back many happy memories of holidays in France when my kids were small. It was so easy to buy one from a butcher, charcuterie or a traiteur for a quick and easy meal and the chicken always tasted wonderful; like nothing you could reproduce at home – unless you had a rotisserie!
Actually my son does have a rotisserie option on his barbecue and oven, but we were eating at my place. And my place has a small kitchen with a basic single oven and no fancy extras! So Rick’s recipe seemed ideal.
The recipe simply coats the chicken generously in a spicy butter and slow-roasts it for 2-2½ hours, with some basting along the way. I have to say that what it produced didn’t really strike me as ‘rotisserie chicken’ but it was nevertheless very good indeed, absolutely delicious, and I’ll certainly do it this way again.
Rick Stein’s Rotisserie-style Chicken – Serves 4
- 1 organic, free-range chicken (about 1.5kg)
- ½ lemon
- 1 clove garlic, bashed
- 600g potatoes, cut into thick 2cm slices
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 40g butter (soft, not straight from the fridge)
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- good pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
Make the spice rub first. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together.
Put the half lemon and bashed garlic clove into the cavity of the chicken and tie the legs together. Rub the spicy butter mix all over the chicken. At this point it can go straight into the oven, but I prepared mine earlier in the day so that it was ready to go into the oven when I started cooking, and kept it in the fridge.
When you want to begin roasting the chicken, prepare the potatoes. Peel them and slice into roughly 2cm-thick pieces. Lay some across the bottom of a roasting pan, sit the prepared chicken on top, then scatter the rest of the potato slices around the chicken. Drizzle the olive oil over the potatoes.
Put into a preheated 150C/Fan 130/Gas 2 oven and roast for 2-2½ hours, basting a few times.
As the buttery coating blackened along the way, it became a little difficult to judge how well the chicken was cooking and I ended up turning the temperature up a bit towards the end (but that could just be my oven!). It wasn’t actually looking that pretty and I wasn’t sure it was going to be a success and I’d bother to blog it. But then we ate it.
The chicken was lifted out and placed on a carving board with foil over the top to keep it warm. I transferred the potatoes to another dish and returned them to the oven to brown a little more. Rick says to spoon the juices over the chicken when serving but I left son Jonathan to make a proper gravy, adding some of my home-made stock cubes and some Madeira wine.
I served it simply with some tenderstem broccoli and peas.
It really was wonderful. The chicken had taken up the flavours from the spicy butter and the meat was so moist and gorgeous. This really was an excellent way to cook the chicken (as long as you’re not one to worry about butter; and if you do, don’t! It’s healthy and natural). The potatoes, having cooked with the chicken, had taken up all the lovely flavours too and were fantastic. What a success!
We finished as we so often do with apple and blueberry crumble. My son seemed a little disappointed it wasn’t the lovely cobbler again from last week. He told me how he’d reheated the leftovers they’d taken home the next day and had it with cream – and he thought it was almost better the second time around. Well, it looks like I’ll be repeating the cobbler again soon … as well as this great chicken dish!