Roast chicken is a weekly must in our house, so Im always on the lookout for exciting twists on how to cook it. I came across this Marcus Wareing chicken recipe on a great website called Great British Chefs, which showcases recipes from some of the best chefs in the UK. Marcus double-cooks the chicken by first poaching the bird, then smothering it in a thyme, almond and Parmesan crust, before roasting. Pair it with chargrilled cauliflower, although you could easily swap the cauliflower for some of your favourite sides, and finished with a delicious tarragon, cream and mustard sauce.
For the chicken
1 free-range chicken, weighing approx. 1.8kg
1 tsp of grain mustard
100ml of double cream
1 tbsp of tarragon
1 carrot, peeled and halved
1 onion, peeled and halved
1 celery stick, halved
1/4 bunch of thyme
1/4 bunch of tarragon
4 garlic cloves, halved
6 black peppercorns
0.5 tsp of salt
For the almond and thyme crust
100g of whole almonds, toasted with the skin on
3 slices of brown bread, ideally crusts
50g of Parmesan, grated
1/2 bunch of thyme, just the leaves
0.5 tbsp of salt
4 tbsp of olive oil
1 cauliflower, cut into large florets
1 tbsp of vegetable oil
0.5 tsp of salt
0.5 tsp of curry powder
50g of mixed nuts, toasted and finely chopped
1. Begin by making the stock. Place the ingredients for the poaching stock into a large saucepan and fill with warm water.
2. Bring to a gentle simmer, then add the chicken, topping up with more water if necessary. Cover with a lid and simmer very gently for 40 minutes.
3. Remove the chicken from the stock and allow to dry off slightly. Strain the stock into a clean saucepan, bring to the boil and continue to boil gently until it has reduced to a third.
4. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the mustard and cream. When ready to serve, reheat gently and whisk in the chopped tarragon.
5. Make the crust by putting all the ingredients into a food processor and whizzing until it clumps together.
6. Preheat the oven to 150C/Gas 2. Smother the crust mixture on to the chicken, then place it in the oven for 40-45 minutes.
7. Remove the chicken from the oven and allow to rest for 15 mins, then carve into legs and breasts.
8. For the cauliflower, put a chargrill pan over a very high heat whilst blanching the cauliflower for 3 minutes in seasoned boiling water, then drain.
6. Toss the florets in the vegetable oil, then chargrill until they are starting to brown. Sprinkle with the curry powder as they are being grilled. Sprinkle with the macadamias and parsley when ready to serve, plating up next to the encrusted chicken. Serve with crushed new potatoes.