Slow Roast Chicken with Vermouth
If you know you’ll be having a lazy day at home, then this slow-roasted chicken is the ultimate weekend food. You roast it at a very low temperature for three hours, flipping it over once an hour, then jack up the heat for the final 30 minutes to crisp the skin to a picture-perfect golden brown. The chicken is unbelievably moist — roasting it at such a low temperature makes it almost impossible to dry out — and the flavours of the lemon, garlic and rosemary in the cavity really penetrate into the meat. What’s more, Saturday’s leftover roast chicken can then become Sunday’s chicken sandwiches, soup or stir-fry, pasta or risotto. Once you make this, I’m willing to bet that, like me, you won’t want to roast a chicken any other way again.
Slow Roast Chicken and Vermouth
1 x 2 kg whole chicken
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
200 ml water
60 g unsalted butter, melted
125 ml extra-dry vermouth or a dry white wine (If you don’t have vermouth, you could substitute dry white wine instead. Alternatively, feel free to omit the alcohol altogether. It won’t really affect the flavor of the chicken, just the juices)
Preheat the oven to 80°C and wipe the chicken clean.
Cut the lemon in half. Rub one half of the lemon all over the chicken, getting as much juice onto the skin as you can. Season the cavity with salt and pepper. Peel the garlic and stuff it into the chicken cavity along with the rosemary and both lemon halves.
Place the chicken upside down in a roasting tin just large enough to hold it. Add the water. Cook for 1 hour, then turn right side up (I can usually do this with my bare hands since the roasting temperature is so low). Return it to the oven and cook for another hour, then turn upside down again and cook for yet another hour.
Remove the chicken from the oven and raise the temperature to 200°C. Brush the melted butter all over the skin, season very well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and add the vermouth to the pan.
Return the chicken to the oven (make sure it finishes right side up) and cook for 30 minutes, or until golden brown and the juices run clear. Strain the fat and serve with the lemony, salty juices from the pan.
Kristin Jensen is a freelance editor and blogs at Dinner du Jour. As a working mum with two young children, the blog’s focus is on delicious dinners for busy people and parents. She also recently set up the Irish Food Bloggers Association with Caroline Hennessy, where you can connect with other food bloggers and stay up to date with foodie news and events. Twitter: @dinnerdujour and @IrishFoodies