So, you get those meals that have the WOW factor. Dishes that you bring out when people are over for dinner. I love them. They're always a bit 'different' and they always have a bit of a gimmick/novelty that gets people talking. It's basically cookery theatre and I must be honest I milk it by putting on a bit of a show. People will look at you verrrry skeptically when you pull this one out but jeez it's a show-stopper. The vibe here is that you create a cooking pocket by making an airtight crust. This then creates an awesome steaming process and the end result is a beautifully moist and tender chicken. When you take the chicken out the oven, take it to the table and break open the crust there. The steam will come rushing out, along with the aromas from the herbs and the lemon. Your guests will clap, you will smile, people will eat.
Stuff you'll need to feed 4:
- 1 whole organic chicken
- 2 lemons
- 2 handfuls of fresh oregano
- 1 handful of fresh thyme
- 8 cloves of garlic
- Olive oil
- Sea salt and black pepper
- 1kg of flour
Okay, what to do:
1. Put your flour in a bowl and slowly mix in 500ml of water, creating a dough that is elastic and not too sticky. Cover and set aside.
2. Remove the zest from the lemons. In a pestle and mortar (or a deep bowl and something heavy!) bash up the oregano, thyme, lemon zest, garlic and some olive oil. Add the oil as necessary to create a paste. Season well with salt and pepper.
3. Rub the entire chicken inside and out with the marinade. Slice the lemons and stuff inside the bird.
4. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees celsius. Get your dough and roll out, judging it so the dough will cover the chicken. Fold up the edges and mold the dough around the chicken to create a parcel thingy. MAKE SURE IT IS AIRTIGHT. Leave for 5 minutes and then place in the oven. Cook for 2 hours and 15 minutes. This might seem long but it won't dry out and it would be a bummer if you took the bird to the table, cracked open the crust and the chicken was undercooked. Can anyone say anti-climax?
5. Remove, and allow to rest for 15 minutes. The pastry will have hardened up. Do not eat the pastry. It will smell amazing but control yourself. You're not a wild animal so get a grip.
6. To serve, take the entire pastry on a wooden board to the table. Crack it open. Glory.
Did I mention how healthy this method of cooking is? No? Well, that's how we roll here. What's that? What is that awesome looking salad? That's just a little something The Princess knocked up to go with it. Roasted beetroot and butternut with rocket with corn. Not kak.
The only way this could be more impressive is to do it on the Weber. Now that would be killer...