Years ago I remember that if you wanted a good chicken for roasting it had to come from the Marks & Spencer food hall. It is a while since I have had a chicken from Marks & Spencer, and I am sure they will still be good, but for now there is no better chicken than than the one I buy once a month at the Farmer’s Market.
If I am around I try to buy one every month they are there. There is nothing much to do to them but follow the clear instructions set out by Simon Hopkinson in his book about roast chicken.
I rocked the boat slightly today and made a stuffing of garlic and parsley. The garlic came from the garden and two bulbs were cooked in milk until soft. Once they Wee done the remains of the milk was infused with the last of the saffron I could find in in the back of the cupboard. In the meantime each clove of garlic was squeezed to give up its pungent flesh. This was then stirred back into the saffron infused milk to which was added a good tablespoon of ground cumin and a bunch of chopped parsley.
Once this mixture was done a hand was put up the back of the chicken. There is something satisfying in the way that a few fingers can turtle there way along and pick out a pocket for stuffing between skin and flesh on a chicken. I briefly thought about keeping my hands clean and doing the stuffing with a spoon but after 2 seconds realised that it it would all work better getting my hands dirty.
Chicken stuffed it went into the hot oven for a little under two hours.
We had it with roast potatoes and carrots glazed with orange juice and pomegranate juice and a whole cauliflower head in a yogurt and tahini sauce.
Sat here now listening to Ton Waits and waiting for him to ‘shiver me timbers’.