Thursday, December 31, 2009

Roasted Lemongrass Chicken Recipe

As of this writing, the chicken has been roasting in the oven for 45 minutes. Yesterday, I prepared the same for a couple of friends. This isn't my usual recipe but my guest was pregnant and she couldn't stand the smell of strong herbs. So instead of my usual thyme and rosemary, I used lemongrass instead. This is an easy one to make. Prep time is very short and most of the time you just have to leave the chicken in the oven.

So, to start, preheat the oven to 160-180 celsius.

Then get 3 heads of garlic. Cut one across the middle. And then just cut off the top portion of the other two. Then get some lemongrass and fold it to about 3 inches, and tie it with kitchen twine.
Then grind some peppercorns (about 1/2 teaspoon) and mix it with a teaspoon of salt.

Now, the next step is very crucial. Every professional chef I've seen on TV does this so I must do it, too. I really don't know why but it's a step that you shouldn't miss. Get some paper towels and dry the chicken.

Then stuff the lemongrass and one garlic (the one you cut in half) inside the chicken cavity.

The next step is likewise very important. It spells the different between perfectly roasted chicken and a total disaster. Get yourself a good kitchen twine and truss the chicken so the legs and wings are snugly tied against the body. You don't know how? Well then google it! Just type "How to truss a chicken?" and you'll get a couple of video demonstrations on how to do it. I learned that way.

Then put the chicken on the roasting pan breast side down. Put in the two heads of garlic and place it cut side up.

Cover the roasting pan with foil.

Then put the pan inside the 160-180 degree oven. Leave it alone for one hour.

After an hour, take out the foil and put pieces of butter squares all over the chicken. If you want to be healthy, pour a little olive oil instead. But where's the fun in that? And it's New Year! Loosen up and indulge in the rich, creamy flavor of butter. Now put it back in the oven. Increase the temperature to 200 degrees and keep it there for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, carefully flip the chicken on its back. Slather more butter onto the chest. Increase the temperature to 220 degrees and leave it alone for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, open the oven and saturate your kitchen with the mouthwatering aroma of perfectly roasted chicken.

Update: Here's the roasted chicken, after two hours in the oven.

The skin is thin and crisp, while the meat is very juicy and fall-off-the-bones tender. Let it sit for about 5 minutes before carving. That will allow the juices to redistribute and will make the chicken even more flavorful.

And don't ignore the garlic! It's great to spread on toasted bread or do what I do - crush it in rice and eat with your chicken. Yum!