Black Summer Truffle Pesto Roast Chicken

black-summer-truffle-pesto-roast-chickenA few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to attend Taste of London’s fabulous food and restaurant event in Regent’s Park. The weather was glorious and the event was well attended but didn’t feel crowded at all. Amongst all the Michelin starred chefs demonstrating on live stages and 5* restaurants selling taster sized portions of  their most loved dishes, were lots of producers, artisans and brands selling their wares. IMK July 2014I blogged about the event in this post  with lots of photos – https://selmastable.wordpress.com/2014/07/10/in-my-kitchen-july-2014/  and promised to post a recipe using the new Black Summer Truffle Pesto which I bought from Sacla who had a stand at the event.

black-summer-truffle-pesto-roast-chickenThe pesto is amazing (if you like truffle) and I urge you to seek it out while it’s available as it may be a limited edition. Simply spread on toasted sourdough and topped with a poached egg, breakfast the next day was a little bit of  food heaven on a plate…

black-summer-truffle-pesto-roast-chickenI love to spatchcock chicken. Spatchcock is the term used to refer to cutting out the backbone which opens out and flattens the bird – it’s so easy to do, really cuts down on cooking time and makes carving very easy too. It also makes it very easy to separate the skin from the flesh so that seasoning,herbs, pastes or lemon slices can be stuffed under the skin, as the skin is no longer stretched taut over the flesh. My poultry shears have seen better days so I normally use my the heel and point of my sharp chef’s knife to cut out  the backbone. Skewering it is great if you are barbecuing and need to flip the chicken over a few times but when roasting in the oven, it is unnecessary. This is a brilliant video showing how to spatchcock a chicken, presented by the lovely Sarah Cook who also ran the Food Styling course I took at Leith’s a few years ago – http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/technique/how-spatchcock-chicken

Do save the backbone by popping it in a bag and into the freezer – it does make a great stock when you add to the other chicken bones you have been saving. You don’t have to get fancy with a simple basic chicken stock for risottos, pastas or casseroles. I always strip any meat from a roast chicken carcass to save for quick suppers, salads and sandwiches. Then, I snap the leg bones and the carcass so that they will fit in a pot later  and put these in a freezer bag together with any roasted carrots, herbs and sticky bits (but not lemons as these make the stock bitter)  and in the freezer if not making stock straight away. Place (frozen) in a large saucepan with a lid, cover with water, bring to a gentle boil and immediately turn down the heat to as low as you can and simmer for 2 hours – one hour if you are pushed for time. Strain and use straightaway or let it cool and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.

black-summer-truffle-pesto-roast-chicken

This is wonderful with some parboiled, crushed and roast new potatoes and a pile of green beans finishing with and a mustardy green salad to mop up the juices on the plate. I apologise for the quality and lack of more photos but it was getting late so the light was low and tummies were rumbling!

Black Summer Truffle Pesto Roast Chicken

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print

Adapted from the Sacla website

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 x 1.5 kg chicken – free-range or organic preferably especially if you are going to make a stock with the bones.
  • ½ jar of Sacla’s Black Summer Truffle Pesto (or whizz together some parmesan cheese, pine nuts and truffle oil into a paste)
  • unpeeled cloves from ½ a garlic bulb
  • Lots of sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 x lemon, cut in half and one half cut into 4 wedges
  • Salt and pepper
  • wine glass full of dry white wine
  • 50 g of finely grated parmesan cheese

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F.
  2. Get your roasting tin out. and place a good handful of thyme sprigs on it as a bed for the chicken.
  3. Remove ½ of the pesto from the jar and place it in a small bowl or plate – this will stop any contamination – something that I am a little obsessive about. Divide the paste into quarters to make it easy to use once you get going.
  4. Get a good pinch of sea salt onto a small plate and a good grinding of black pepper too – see note 2 about contamination!
  5. Spatchcock the chicken. Remove from packaging, undo the trussing or string and discard. Turn the chicken over onto it’s breast and cut along either side of the backbone, starting at the Parson’s nose (tail). Flip it over, open it out and with the heel of your hand, press onto the breasts, while you lean into it to give it some weight – this will help to flatten it out.
  6. Flip it onto it’s breast again and using your fingers, spread with ¼ of the truffle pesto. Season with a little salt and pepper and place onto the roasting dish.
  7. Starting at the neck/breast end of the chicken, using your fingers and hands, gently, being careful not to tear the skin, separate and ease the skin away from the flesh  – go all the way to the top of the legs. You will have to get your hands right under the skin – not great if you are squeamish!  Place half the truffle pesto on the flesh, under the skin and spread it as evenly as you can, as far as the  tops of  the legs. I find it easier to do one side of the chicken at a time. Pull and adjust the skin so that it is in place and covering the very top of  chicken  and wipe off any excess paste that is clinging onto your hands onto the chicken skin. Squeeze over the juice from half the lemon. Sprinkle on a little salt and pepper.
  8. Now go and thoroughly wash your hands. With hot water and soap and get someone to turn the taps on for you – did I mention I was obsessive about contamination?
  9. Scatter the unpeeled garlic cloves around the chicken. Dribble the cloves and the chicken with a little olive oil. Pour in the wine around the edge of the tin. and place in the oven. Set the timer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, turn the heat down to 180C/350F and continue roasting for another 20 minutes.
  10. Remove tin from the oven and turn up the heat to 200C/400F. Using a spatula, spread the remaining truffle pesto onto the skin and sprinkle over the parmesan cheese. Place back in the oven for 10 more minutes. Check to make sure that it is cooked through – no blood running in the section between the leg and the body and remove chicken and garlic to a serving plate, loosely covering with foil and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
  11. In the meantime, drain off any oil in the roasting tin leaving behind all the lovely juices. Place tin on the hob/stove top. Bring to a boil then simmer, scraping down the sticky bits from around the sides and bottom of the tin with a wooden spoon. Let this reduce until you have a enough for a little jus or gravy. If you are making green beans, get them on now.
  12. Serve with lemon wedges, parboiled and crushed roasted new potatoes, green beans and a salad. The caramelised garlic just pops out of their skins and is wonderful spread on the potatoes or bits of chicken as you eat.

© Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table, 2013, 2014. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

In My Kitchen July 2014

It has been a wonderful month for all things food related – do come in and  take a look… In my kitchen IMK_july_2014is this amazing Black Summer Truffle Pesto by Sacla. My lovely, vivacious and gorgeous friend, Jo Picard, sent me a totally unexpected text saying that there were two complimentary tickets for me at the box office for the foodie heaven that is Taste of London. She was presenting and hosting the Stubbins Kitchen Garden Demonstration stand and  my friend C and I, got to see her taking Michelin starred chef, Bruno Loubet through his dish of Savoury Sweet Potato Waffle which was pretty amazing. The top left photo below is of Bruno Loubet with Jo on the far right of the photo. IMK July 2014In a nutshell, Taste of London gathers together some of London’s most iconic and famous restaurants and gives us the opportunity to taste sample sized portions of a few of their most well known dishes. Along with the restaurant stands, there are workshops, cookery theatres, artisanal produce and producers, wine tastings, drinks stands, a bandstand…it’s a fabulous event. I have linked their website so do take a look if you would like to know more. IMK July 2014 IMK July 2014Sacla were there too, passing round samples of some of their pestos spread onto mini crostinis. This one – the Black Summer Truffle Pesto just made us stop dead in our tracks, widen our eyes and rush back to find out what it was. We made sure not to leave without going back to buy some. It is wonderful spread on sourdough and topped with a poached egg and we had it with roast chicken the other day – I will posting that recipe very soon – it was fantastic. If you like truffles, you will love this spread so keep an eye out for it the next time you are in the shops. (Finally managed to post the recipe – here is the link – https://selmastable.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/black-summer-truffle-pesto-roast-chicken/ ) IMK July 2014 In my kitchen, are compotes. With the abundance of luscious summer fruit comes the propensity to buy more than we can consume before they start to spoil in the heat. So, I have been making simple rustic compotes to spoon over granola and Greek yoghurt for breakfast. The compotes seem to keep for weeks in the fridge without spoiling. I stew them gently and briefly in a pan with a tiny bit of demerara sugar, some used vanilla pods  and a dash of rosé wine. In the collage above, clockwise from top left is apricot, raspberry and strawberry. Jake has liked the strawberry the most. IMK_july_2014 The cherries this summer have been amazing – these barely lasted a day. (If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen quite a few of these photos already). The shallow  bowl is an old eBay bargain – it’s known as transferware and the pattern is Asiatic Pheasant.IMK_july_2014 My Sutton Community Farm veg (CSA) box has been wonderful – gorgeous broad broad beans, all sorts of varieties of kale and beautiful salads with edible flowers as well as courgettes, cucumbers, carrots, spring onions…I was lucky enough to attend their fabulous “Pop-Up Veg Box Dinner” during our local Food Festival. You can read my review, watch a brilliant, short video and see my quick and easy recipe for Broad Bean, Pea and Ricotta Crostini if you click on the link. I recently made Ottolenghi’s Meatballs with Broad Beans, but used the entire bean – pod and all as they were so young and tender. IMK_july_2014Shortly after we moved in here, earlier this year, I lent my juicer to a friend who was a little run down. She and her husband loved it and now have their own, so she dropped it back the other day and it has been really nice to juice again for breakfast. In the glass above is apple, beetroot, kale, carrot, ginger and lemon. Power breakfast! I have to say that this is a really good juicer  – it has been developed for Philips by the man known as the Juice Master, Jason Vale. The drop chute is really wide so most things don’t have to be sliced (or peeled for that matter). The micro mesh filter is extremely efficient and easy to clean; also, if you line the pulp container with a plastic bag, it makes for a quick and easy clean up. I got this last year; there are newer models around so if you are thinking of getting a juicer but have been put off by memories of lots of prep, wet pulp and washing up, I am here to tell you that times have changed! And see the retro straws? I just couldn’t resist them when I saw them in Peter Jones and good thing too as I have just had my teeth cleaned and polished so the straws protect  from beetroot stains and acid erosion too. And they look rather fabulous! Shallow? Moi? Well, that is it from my kitchen this month.What have you been up to? Let me know via the comments box below. The In My Kitchen series is is hosted by Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial where she is joined by bloggers from all over the world affording us a glimpse of what they’ve been up to. Many thanks to Celia for hosting this lovely series. Pour yourself a cuppa or something cold, click on the link and take a look at what others have been up to in their kitchens! © Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table, 2013, 2014. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.