Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Rolled boneless chicken roast

Fancy and impressive, without fooling around with forcemeat and curing.

The chicken is prepared like a gallantine, except that the thighs and legs are left attached, although they could be just as easily incorporated into the main roast. I like leaving them since it gives a visual clue that this was once a chicken. Similar to a gallantine, it's braised with cold chicken stock - only in the oven instead of on the range so that the skin will brown. Unlike a gallantine, I didn't use any forcemeat, although a bit of prosciutto would have been a nice garnish to lay over the meat. The flavor was good enough without it and the cost was certainly lower.

This is something rather unusual for most people, so it's fun to carve it at the table, removing the trussing and slicing into half inch thick rondelles. If you're being fancy, plate it as described below. If not, go family style and pass the platter. This was enough for eight people, after they had already enjoyed a first course and some hors d'œvres.

  • 1 whole chicken
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh sage & rosemary
  • Garlic, finely chopped
  • Marsala wine
  • Chicken stock
  1. First, debone the chicken, removing the wings but boning out the drumsticks (leave the thigh and drumstick meat though. Lay it flat, skin side down.
  2. Flap the breasts meat over so it covers the space between the breasts.
  3. Make a paste out of the rosemary, sage, garlic and some of the salt. Adjust the quantity of herbs according to how strong an herb flavor you want and how big the chicken is. 
  4. Spread the paste over the chicken meat, and stick a bit in the hole left by the drumstick and thigh bones. Lightly sprinkle the Marsala over the chicken, being careful not to wash off the paste. You could also add it to the paste, but this seems to distribute the wine better over the entire bird.
  5.  Roll the chicken up tightly, leaving a minimal overlap at the edges.
  6. Truss the chicken, starting with the drumstick end.
  7. Carefully place the chicken into a baking dish, pour cold chicken stock around the bird so it comes up around an inch. Liberally sprinkle salt over the bird and place in an oven preheated to 375°F. 
  8. The chicken will take about 90 minutes to cook - it's done when the meat at the center of the bird reaches 168°F (use a thermometer to check).
Family style serving: If you opt for the potatoes (below), arrange the spuds around the edges of a serving platter and layer the sliced chicken pieces down the center. 

If plating individually, fan out the potato slices, overlap with slices of chicken. You can also pour some red or orange pepper coulis on the plate under/around the main ingredients for color and add a fresh basil leaf for a garnish.

You can accompany the chicken with sliced Yukon Gold potatoes:

  • Yukon gold potatoes (about four), scrubbed and sliced into 1/2" half-rounds.
  • Salt
  • Rosemary
  • Black pepper
  • Chicken stock
  • Olive oil (or duck fat if you're being extravagant)
  1. Toss the potatoes, herbs, salt, pepper and oil. If using duck fat, you may need to heat it a bit to get it liquid.
  2. Place the slices in a shallow baking dish, pour about 3/4" of stock into the pan - the tops of the potatoes should not be submerged. The stock will evaporate during cooking, leaving nicely browned crispy yet succulent potatoes.
  3. Place in a preheated 400°F oven or bake next to the chicken. Check that it's browning - if the chicken is ready but the potatoes aren't browned, you can place it under the broiler to finish. The potatoes are done when you can easily poke them with a fork.
Serve with a nice ciabatta or rustic French bread, a light red wine and maybe a garnish of fresh basil and you've got a great summer meal.

This could probably be prepared ahead and served cold for a cool summer meal.

1 comment:

  1. Pretty cool. I tried something similar with half a chicken. The chicken absorbs the flavor from the fillings and make it quite tasty. I will try the paste the next time.