1 chicken (about 1.5kg),
salt,
pepper,
2 medium onions,
1 small carrot,
3 celery stalk,
twine for binding.

I got this classic recipe for roast chicken from the book “On Cooking”(page 475). The book advises to tie the chicken with food twine in a special way so the chicken cooks more evenly. The binding makes the chicken more succulent and improves the appearance of the finished product. There are many methods of binding, I’ll show you the easiest.

Ingredients:

 

1. Wipe the chicken with paper towel.

 

2. Cut off the wings, as shown in the picture:

 

3. Cut a length of twine – just about long enough to wrap around the chicken three times.

 

4.With the breast side up and the neck towards you, place the rope under the chicken, about 2.5cm from the tail.

 

5. Pass the rope around the legs and cross the rope ends, as shown in the photo:

 

6. Wrap the rope along the sides and thighs, tightly clutching the wings to the body.

 

7. Well pull the rope and tighten the knot around the neck, pull tight, leaving the chicken tightly bunched.

 

8. The binding is finished. The chicken should look neat and compact.

 

9.This chicken’s flavour is not enhanced with herbs, it is simply seasoned with salt and pepper . Do not be a chicken though! You can season the chicken with herbs, but put the herbs inside the chicken as they will burn in the hot temperature if they are sprinkled over the top. Season with salt and pepper.

 

10. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees.

 

11.While the oven heats up, prepare the mirpua (mirepoix). This vegetable mixture consists of 50% onions, 25% carrots and 25% of the celery stalks. Mirpua (named after the Duke de Mirpua) provides a subtle but very pleasant background flavour, which should enrich and improve the taste of cooked dishes. Cut the vegetables into pieces, ensure they are uniform in size and shape so they cook evenly . The less cooking time, the smaller and thinner pieces should be and the longer the cooking time- the bigger and thicker. We will use relatively large pieces.

 

12. Sprinkle baking sheet with vegetable oil, spread mirpua, put a roasting rack in and place the chicken on top. If you don’t have a rack, the chicken can be put directly on the bed of vegetables. The chicken will cook more evenly if it is on a rack or vegetables.

13. Put in preheated oven, cook for 45 to 60 minutes, depending on the size of you chicken and your oven, someone ovens takes more time, others will take less. We want the chicken to have a beautiful golden colour with a crispy skin. You can determine the readiness of the chicken four ways:

  • 1. The temperature inside the chicken. Put a special meat thermometer into chicken thigh. The meat in the thigh is the last to cook. If the chicken is ready, the temperature inside will be 74-77 C degrees.
  • 2. The softness of the joints. Turn the chicken leg, if the joints are very flexible the chicken is ready..
  • 3. Color of juices. Gently pierce the chicken with a knife, let the juice run out. If the juice is pink or cloudy the chicken is not ready. Clear juice indicates that the bird is fully ready.
  • 4. Time. Due to the fact that there are so many variables (the size of your oven or the chicken, etc.), the time  is less reliable way to check readiness. The book advises to use all four options for reliability.

If you want to stuff the chicken, all the stuffing ingredients must be cold. Since the chicken entrails are a potential site of bacteria, put the ingredients into the chilled chickens just before cooking. Do not pack the stuffing too tightly, because it will expand during the cooking process. After stuffing close the chicken up with toothpicks or twine.

Voila! The chicken is done. Cut the thread with scissors, it will not lose its attractive shape. The meat came out very juicy, tender and flavorful,thanks to the Mirpua. The skin is golden and crispy, as promised in the book.

Bon Appetit!

 

 

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