1 organic free-range chicken (Bostock's 14)
90gm kosher salt
20gm brown sugar
1 star anise
3 bay leaves
120ml white wine
1/4 cup tarragon, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
1 tbsp finely chopped thyme
A 1.4kg chicken requires 3.1 litres of brine.
3.1 litres of water and 90 gm salt will make a 3.5% brine (approx).
See Thomas Keller for a video on removing the wishbone, trussing, and slicing the roasted chicken.
Prepare a brine using salt, brown sugar, star anise, bay leaves and 3.1 litres of cold water. Bring to the boil and cool to room temperature.
Wash the chicken in cold running water.
Use a stock pot to submerge chicken in the brine and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning remove the chicken from the brine, rinse quickly under cold water and pat dry.
Place uncovered and unseasoned in the fridge to air dry for the rest of the day.
Preheat the oven to 200°C Fan.
Remove chicken from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature (approx 1hr). The breast should be very tender; the skin pale and wrinkled.
Carefully cut and remove the wishbone. Alain Ducasse reckons this helps remove the breast once cooked. Also quite a grounding experience.
Rub the inside of the chicken with plenty of pepper. Score a lemon and pop it inside.
Truss the chicken using kitchen twine. Idea is to bring thigh into the hips, wings into breast.
Rub the outside with plenty of olive oil and pepper and place on a raised rack in an oven tray. There should be no need for additional salt.
Put chook in oven.
The next bit can vary depending on the resting temperature of the bird, size of the bird, and consistency of the oven.
I like to roast hot for the first 30–40 minutes until you get some colour and are confident that you will get a nice caramelised skin.
Once you get a bit of sizzle add the wine and drop the heat accordingly (180–160°C) with fan still on.
Rotate the chicken twice during cooking. Start on back, then flip, and flip again.
The chicken will need about 60–70 min total cooking time.
Rest chicken uncovered, on a board, whilst preparing the tarragon gravy.
To prepare the tarragon gravy: saute the garlic and thyme in the pan juices for a couple of minutes. Process liquid in a food processor with lemon and tarragon until smooth, season to taste and serve with chicken.