First things first – a common problem with most chicken preparations, particularly roast chicken, is dry breast meat. It can be a good idea to roast the bird upside down, so that all the juices fall on the breast, keeping it moist and melt-in-your-mouth tender! Be warned though; this technique wouldn’t result in a chicken breast as browned as you are possibly used to.
1 whole chicken
½ cup dry red wine
225g fresh mushrooms, sliced
250g baby potatoes, scrubbed
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 garlic cloves, peeled and grated
1 tsp thyme leaves (Use lemon thyme if you like.)
1 dry bay leaf
2-3 tbsp butter, melted
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Ensure that the chicken is clean and dry. Use kitchen towels, if required.
2. Take a large ziplock bag (It should have enough room for the chicken.) and add all the ingredients apart from the bay leaf, butter, and olive oil. Put in the chicken, seal the bag, and shake to coat the bird. Keep aside for a few minutes. The red wine vinegar in the marinade would help tenderise the meat. If you don’t have a large ziplock bag, you can just use a pan, though using a bag is more comfortable.
3. In the meanwhile, take the veggies in a roasting pan and pour in the olive oil. Use your hands to ensure that they are well-coated in oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add the bay leaf.
4. Take the chicken and place it on the bed of vegetables. Reserve the leftover marinade. Roast it in an oven heated to 230°C/ 450°F.
5. As the chicken goes into the pan, take the reserved leftover marinade in a small saucepan, along with the butter. Bring it to a boil, then slowly reduce the heat. Allow to reduce for a minute, then switch off the heat. This sauce will be used for basting the chicken at regular intervals.
6. Once the chicken has roasted for 15 minutes, reduce the temperature to 180°C/ 350°F. At this stage, if the juices in the pan have evaporated, add some water to moisten the vegetables. If you have white chicken stock, even better! Brush the chicken with the wine and butter sauce. Return to the oven.
7. Now bake for about 45 minutes, basting the chicken every 10 minutes. If it gets too browned during baking, merely cover the roasting pan with aluminium foil. Before removing it from the oven, ensure that a meat thermometer, inserted in the thigh reads at least a temperature of 180°C.
8. Now allow it to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes, and serve on a platter.
And that’s our very versatile wine roasted chicken recipe!