While watching this episode of Masterchef Master class I just knew I had to make this roast chicken and I had to make it now!
It sounds simple, yet you will be absolutely amazed at the flavours of this dish. Salty, sour, rich verjuice gravy perfectly pair with the sweet explosion of cold pear in the creamy parsnip mash. Add deliciously moist chicken with crispy skin and squeeze out some pungent, sweet roasted garlic and you are in home cooked heaven!
This recipe has become an instant go-to classic in my recipe book!
Recipe by Maggie Beer
- 30 cloves garlic, unpeeled
- 1 lemon
- 1 x 2 kg well brought up free range chicken
- 3 sprigs rosemary, chopped
- 50ml extra-virgin olive oil/melted butter
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 125ml verjuice
- 125ml water
- 1 cup chicken stock
- Preheat oven to 230°C. Remove the chiken from the fridge approximately one hour prior to roasting to bring it to room temperature. Blanch the unpeeled garlic in boiling water for four minutes, then drain and set aside.
- Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the cavity of the chicken, then add the rosemary.
- Mix olive oil/melted butter with a good pinch of sea salt and pepper and about 50 ml of verjuice and brush over the chicken skin then massage in, getting in under the skin as well. Even pour a little into the cavity! Cover the breast (only) with foil and sit the chicken breast side up on a trivet or griddle in a shallow baking dish about 5cm deep.
- Transfer to the middle shelf of the oven and cook for 20 minutes.
- Remove the foil from breast and turn the chicken over, breast side down. Pour the rest of the verjuice over the chicken, place the blanched garlic in the bottom of the baking dish and add the water to the base of the dish to avoid burning. Cook for a further 20 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to 140 degrees and cook for a further 20 minutes (60 minutes in total). Turn the chicken over once more, breast side up and cook for another 10 minutes, just to give the breast some colour. Remove the chicken and place breast side down (so turn it over, so all the juices can flow back into the breast) on the trivet/griddle to rest for 30-40 minutes, covered loosely with foil. The chicken will stay hot for this amount of time, don’t worry!
To make the jus, pour all the pan juices from the baking dish into a small saucepan, add 1 cup of warm chicken stock and pour into a serving jug. Carve the chicken, then pour over the jus and serve accompanied by the roasted garlic and parsnip and pear mash. Your guests will need to get their hands dirty by squeezing our the roast garlic, so make sure you have plenty of serviettes handy! Parsnip and pear mash recipe below the image.
Parsnip and pear mash:
- 4 medium parsnips, peeled and chopped into large pieces. Remove the woody core of the parsnip!
- Sea salt
- 1-2 ripe pears, peeled, diced and coated with verjuice to stop oxidizing
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Cracked pepper
- Place parsnip into a pot of cold water seasoned with sea salt. Bring to the boil over a high heat and cook until tender (approximately 10 minutes).
- Strain the parsnips, pass through a mouli or mash with a potato masher.
- Add the butter and season to taste.
- Stir through the diced pear and serve warm.