Spanish Roast Chicken with Almond and Pine Nut Breast
This chicken is simply roasted with the Spanish Sherry, spices and herb and nut mixture pressed under the skin of the breast to moisten and flavour the meat. A gravy is prepared simply from the juices at the base of the pan.
I serve the chicken with Spanish roasted potatoes and cauliflower with parsley and garlic.
Wine Recommendation: Calls for an unoaked Chardonnay crisp and light. See The Mixed Case for details.
Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 1 hour and 30 minutes
- 1 medium free range chicken (around 1.5-2kg)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp cumin, ground
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp butter
- 400ml sherry
- 1 tbsp pine nuts toasted
- 1 1/2 tbsp almonds, roasted and finely chopped
- zest of half an orange
- 1 garlic clove finely chopped
- 1 tbsp parsley finely chopped
- 1 tbsp butter, soft at room temperature
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tsp cornflour
- Spanish Roasted Potatoes
- Cauliflower with garlic and parsley
- Farce: Place all the farce ingredients into a bowl and mix them together well. Loosen the skin between the breast with your fingers, being careful so as not to break the skin. Gently push the farce between the skin and breast meat and evenly distribute it.
- Chicken: Preheat an oven to 200°C. Coat the base of a roasting tray with olive oil. Place the chicken in the roasting tray and pour over half of the sherry. Rub the skin of chicken all over with the cumin, paprika, cinnamon and a little salt and pepper. Place pinches of the butter over the chicken and place the chicken in the centre shelf of the preheated oven and leave it to cook for 30 minutes. Remove it from the oven and baste it in the cooking juices adding more sherry to them if it is becoming dry. Reduce the temperature of the oven to 180°C and leave it to cook for a further hour. Basting it at regular 20 minutes intervals and adding a little more sherry or water if it is dry. The chicken should be golden brown if it when it is ready, if it isn't increase the temperature to 220°C for 10 minutes. To test if the chicken is cooked insert a thin sharp knife into a thick part of the meat and the juices should run clear. Remove the chicken from the oven and tray and place it on a carving board covered in foil for at least 5 minutes before serving.
- Gravy: Spoon off any of the excess fat from the roasting tray and add some water to it if it is dry. Mix the corn flour with a couple of tablespoons of water and stir it into the cooking juices. Place the tray over a moderate heat and cook the gravy so that it has thickened slightly and is hot, remove it from the heat and keep it warm until ready to serve.
- To Serve: Place a little of the dark thigh and leg meat on each plate with some slices of breast meat on top. Spoon a little gravy around the chicken and serve it with the roasted potatoes and cauliflower or your choice of vegetables. Serve