Roast Chicken Basquaise
|Roasting chicken||4 Pound|
|Butter||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)|
|Fresh tarragon sprigs/2 teaspoons dried tarragon||4|
|Chicken stock||2 Cup (32 tbs)|
|Cornstarch||1 Teaspoon, mixed to a paste with 1 tablespoon water|
|Water||1 Tablespoon (For Mixing The Cornstarch)|
|Green pepper||1 (For Garnish)|
|Red pepper||1 (For Garnish)|
|Oil||2 Tablespoon (For Garnish)|
|Onions||12 Small, peeled (For Garnish)|
|Lean ham||1⁄4 Pound, diced (For Garnish, 1/2 Cup)|
|Chopped parsley||1 Tablespoon (For Garnish)|
Wipe inside of chicken with a damp cloth, but do not wash it as this hinders browning and does nothing to improve the flavor.
Season the bird inside to penetrate the flesh (seasoning outside does not do this; the salt draws out the juices and prevents browning).
If the bird is not already trussed, do this yourself because a well-trussed chicken keeps its shape better during cooking and subsequently is easier to carve.
(Trussing and carving aire not difficult when done correctly, as described in the diagrams and instructions Rub the chicken with half the butter and put the remaining butter inside with the tarragon and seasoning.
Place chicken, breast side up, in a roasting pan, with half the chicken stock.
Cover with foil or buttered brown paper and roast in a hot oven (400Â°F) for 1 1/4 hours or until tender.
After the first 20 minutes, when the flesh should be lightly cooked but not browned, baste and turn on one side.
Baste and turn again after 20 minutes.
Finish cooking with breast up, removing foil or paper for the last few minutes.
The chicken should be well browned all over.
To test if chicken is done, take a skewer or a finely pointed knife and pierce the flesh of the thigh.
The liquid which runs out should be quite clear; if it is at all pink, continue cooking.
A bird which has been frozen usually takes longer to cook and brown as it is so moist.
When cooked, take chicken from the oven, let stand 15-20 minutes in a warm place, then carve it on a wooden board.
If the juices in the pan have not cooked down to a glaze (a sticky consistency) simmer on top of the stove over low heat until the juices reduce and become brown and sticky.
To make gravy add the remaining cup of stock.
Deglaze pan by scraping it with the basting spoon to dissolve juices, and strain mixture into a small saucepan.
To thicken slightly, stir in the cornstarch paste.
Bring to a boil, stirring continuously until mixture thickens; simmer 2 minutes.
The gravy will be clear and needs no further cooking.
Adjust seasoning to taste and keep hot.
For garnish, cut the cores from peppers, remove seeds and cut flesh into strips.
Blanch them by boiling in water for 1 minute, then drain, refresh with cold water and drain again.
Heat the oil in a pan and add the onions; cook over medium heat for 3 minutes, or until lightly brown.
Stir in the ham with the sliced peppers, cover and cook for 3-4 minutes over low heat or until peppers are just tender.
Add salt and pepper to taste, stir in parsley.
Arrange chicken along one side of a serving dish and pile the garnish on the other.
Spoon a little gravy over chicken and serve the rest separately.
Accompany the chicken with a julienne potato cake.