Barossa Valley chicken with verjuice

Barossa Valley chicken with verjuice

By
From
Taste of Australia
Serves
4-6
Prep
15 mins
Cooking time
55 mins
Photographer
Stuart Scott

The herb and vegie garden near the historic Jacob’s Creek cottages in the Barossa Valley was not only a great setting to cook this recipe, but it also provided me with some greens from the garden to go with the other local produce.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 x 1.8-2kg free-range barossa valley chicken
30g butter, softened
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped mixed herbs, such as flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, chives, sage and thyme
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, finely chopped, plus 2 garlic bulbs, top quarter sliced off
salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
80ml verjuice
250ml chicken stock
300g seedless green grapes
cress or micro herbs, to serve

Parsnip purée

Quantity Ingredient
3 parsnips, peeled and chopped
100-200ml milk
40g butter
salt
freshly ground black pepper

Garden salad

Quantity Ingredient
2 teaspoons walnut or extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons verjuice
salt
freshly ground black pepper
100g mixed salad leaves, including baby English spinach, pea shoots and mustard greens
40g walnut pieces, toasted

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Place the chicken, breast side down, on a chopping board and butterfly by cutting down one side of the backbone with kitchen scissors or a sharp knife. Cut down the other side and remove the backbone to a large baking tray. Turn over the chicken, breast side up, and press down firmly using your hands to flatten out. Gently push your fingers under the skin at the cavity end and continue to ease the skin away from the flesh using your fingers to the end of the breast and down to the thighs.
  3. Combine the butter, herbs, mustard and chopped garlic. Carefully push this mixture under the chicken skin. Press on top of the skin to smooth the paste all over the breasts and down to the thighs. Season well all over with salt and pepper. Place the chicken, skin side up, on top of the backbone in the baking tray, tuck in the garlic bulbs, drizzle it all with oil and roast for 50 minutes or until the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced.
  4. While the chicken is roasting, make the parsnip purée. Place the parsnips in a large saucepan with just enough milk to almost cover. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for approximately 15 minutes or until tender. Remove from the heat, add the butter and season with salt and pepper. Purée with a hand-held blender until smooth. Keep warm.
  5. Remove the chicken and garlic to a serving platter and cover with foil to keep warm and rest. Remove the excess fat from the pan juices, place on the stovetop over high heat and, when bubbling, add the verjuice, chicken stock and grapes. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes or until well reduced. Discard the backbone. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add any juices from the rested chicken.
  6. Make the garden salad by whisking together the walnut oil, verjuice and salt and pepper in a bowl. Add the salad leaves and walnuts and toss through.
  7. To serve, carve the chicken and serve with the parsnip purée, garden salad and sauce.

Wine

  • This simply flavoured recipe matches surprisingly well with a white sparkling wine from Jacob’s Creek.

Lyndey’s note

  • Verjuice is the juice of unfermented grapes and is gently acidic. Substitute with wine or lemon juice.
Tags:
Lyndey
Milan
Taste of Australia
Australian
Oz
Aussie
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