ROAST LEMON SZECHUAN CHICKEN
(Scroll down for recipe)
Gorgeous, succulent, crispy roast chicken with some tongue tingle. Szechuan pepper corns add a delightful taste sensation to this simple comforting dish.
This recipe is adapted from a Gordon Ramsey Masterclass recipe. He never actually serves it as a whole chicken but uses the chicken in various ways for other recipes, one of which I have adapted as well: Wheatless Chicken Noodle Soup with Asian Flavors.
I like to roast my chicken on a vertical chicken rack. That way the entire skin of the bird crisps up. Because you seal the top, the white meat stays moist even if you overcook it a bit.
The sauce is made lemony with Preserved Lemon Paste from New York Shuk. It adds a unique depth of flavor beyond just lemon juice and compliments the tingle of the Szechuan peppercorns.
Comfort food with a zing.
Ingredients (you can adjust these according to your taste)
1 3 -4 pound chicken
2 tablespoons black peppercorns,
1 1⁄2 tablespoons Szechuan peppercorns,
1 - 2 tbsp Maldon salt
zest of one lemon (either Meyer or regular)
2 tbsp butter
egg yolk, beaten
1 tbsp almond flour
about 1/2 cup dry vermouth or dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
1/2 cup or more chicken stock
1 tbsp preserved lemon paste* (recommended) or 1 tbsp lemon juice
2-3 tbsp butter, cold
Place peppercorns and salt in mortar and crush with pestle. Once crushed, add lemon zest.
Preheat oven to 400°F. I like to use convection as it gets the skin really crisp.
Allow chicken to come to room temperature before preparing if possible. Season the cavity of the chicken with some of the seasoning. Separate the breast skin from the flesh and insert one tbsp of butter on each breast under skin.
Brush chicken liberally with egg yolk. This will allow the seasoning to stick to the skin. Apply the rest of the rub to the chicken being sure to coat the entire chicken.
Place chicken on standing rack in a pan that can also be used over a burner on the stove. I like cast iron. Seal neck opening by pulling skin over and pinning with poultry skewer.
Place chicken in oven and roast for about 1 hour or more or
until the internal temperature of the leg joint area reaches 165°F.
Remove from oven. Transfer chicken to a platter to rest at least 10 minutes. Begin Sauce.
(If not using right away, transfer to fridge when cooled a bit, wrapped in foil. Reserve juices to add to soup stock for Chicken Noodle Soup with Asian Flavors.)
Tip the pan slightly and skim some of the oily fat off the top of the drippings. If there is not a lot skip this step.
Place roasting pan on the stove on medium heat. Whisk in almond flour until the mixture thickens a bit, about 2 minutes or so. Add vermouth and whisk scraping up bits from the pan while vermouth cooks down, a few minutes. Add chicken stock and again whisk. Cook for several minutes allowing it to thicken a bit. Whisk from time to time.
Turn off heat. At this point you may want to strain the sauce to remove any solid bits and any almond flour that has not dissolved. This step is optional.
Over low heat, working 1 tbsp at a time, whisk in cold butter. Once incorporated add in preserved lemon paste.
Remove chicken from standing rack and either serve whole or cut into pieces. Serve with sauce.
*Made by New York Shuk. Can be gotten on Amazon.