Chicken roasted in spiced butter & braised baby gem
Roast chicken is a guaranteed pleaser and I am always looking for ways to jazz it up. The chicken and spiced butter combo brings warming flavours as Winter sets in and marries wonderfully with Château George 7. Here we serve it with ‘sucrine’ aka baby gem lettuce and whole garlic cloves cooked slowly with the meat. Yummmm.
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 1h45 + 10 mins
When I first came to France, I was amazed to see ‘cooked salad’ for the first time but it just works and is soo French! The garlic becomes sweet and infused with the spices.
Accompany with Château George 7
2 heads of garlic broken into cloves, skin kept on
100g of butter at room temperature
30g of butter or olive oil for cooking
2 generous tsps of each of:
ground nutmeg &
6 baby gem or 3 if larger – often sold in packs of 3
Salt & pepper
Preheat the oven to 200°/190°C fan.
In a small bowl, mix all the spices into 100g of butter. Put the chicken in a baking dish. Gently lift the skin of the chicken with your fingers and gradually insert the spiced butter between the skin and the chicken breast. Massage it well so that the butter permeates the meat. If you have any butter left, massage it onto the outside of the chicken. Scatter the whole garlic cloves in the dish. Drizzle with olive oil and add a small glass of water to the dish so that the fat won't burn.
Cook the chicken on its back in the hot oven for 10 minutes. Then put it on its side for 10 minutes and then turn onto the other side, cooking 10 minutes each time - so that it is browned all over. Finally, place it breast side down, lower the heat to 150°/140°C fan and cook for 1 hour 30 minutes basting it regularly with the spiced butter.
Cut off the base of the baby gem and cut them in half lengthwise. In a frying pan, place the 30 grams of butter or replace with olive oil if preferred. Place the lettuces in the pan cut side down. Brown slightly and then turn. Pour in a little water and cover. Cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
On a serving dish, put the chicken and surround it with the baby gem, the garlic (now sweet, slightly caramelised and infused with the spiced butter) and pour over the cooking juices.
Serve with a bottle of Château George 7.