On a cold winter’s night there’s something very comforting about roast chicken. Usually I just roast it and maybe make gravy but the other night I decided I wanted more of a sauce. Inspiration came from one of my Spanish cook books. The resulting sauce added a different dimension to the roast chicken.
1 free range chicken
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
2 sticks of celery, chopped
1 red pepper, de-seeded and chopped
8-10 cloves of garlic, peeled plus 3-4 cloves finely chopped
1-2 cups of chicken stock
1-2 cups of red wine
Fresh herbs – small bunch of parsley, sprig of thyme, 2-3 bay leaves, 2 sprigs of rosemary
1 tbp Herbes de Provence or dried mixed herbs
A selection of any sort of mushrooms sliced eg 4-5 large Portobello, 3-4 shitakes, a few button mushrooms, oyster mushrooms
Finely chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
Heat a little olive oil in a flameproof dish. Add the onion, celery, red pepper, carrot and whole garlic cloves. Cook till nicely brown. Add 1 cup each of wine and stock and bring to the boil. Add half the fresh herbs.
Season the cavity of the chicken and stuff with the rest of the herbs. Rub the skin with a little oil, season and sprinkle with the Herbes de Provence. Place the chicken in the dish.
Cook in a preheated oven at 180°C for about 1 hour 15 minutes. Top up the stock and wine if necessary checking half way through.
While the chicken is cooking, heat a little oil in a pan and add the mushrooms. Cook for about 5 minutes and then set them aside.
When the chicken is ready, remove it from the dish and place it on a plate breast side down, cover and let sit for 10 minutes while you finish the sauce. Skim any fat off the top and then tip the red wine and vegetables into a sieve placed over a bowl. Press as much of the vegetables as you can through the sieve and discard the solids that are left.
Add the wine mixture to the mushroom and heat through. Add the finely chopped parsley and finely chopped garlic and cook for another minute.
Carve the chicken and spoon over the sauce.