I know what you are thinking. What an unorthodox combination of ingredients? The combination of bourbon and vanilla isn’t just spectacular here, but you will wonder why you didn’t think about it before. The flavor arrangement makes for a succulent and amazing roast chicken. I think you should cook this tonight and once you do, I’m certain it will become part of your chicken repertory yet.
1 whole roasting chicken – giblets removed – washed and dried
1 TBSP bourbon
2 TSP vanilla extract
4 TBSP room temperature butter
1 ½ TSP Kosher salt and plenty of fresh cracked pepper
1 TBSP chopped fresh thyme
3 TBSP clover honey
10 pitted prunes
1 large apple – cut into wedged skin on and cored
3-4 garlic cloves – slightly smashed
PREHEAT OVEN 400F
In a bowl add the very soft butter and incorporate the bourbon, honey, thyme, salt and pepper. Whisk everything very well (at first it doesn’t blend well but after you have whisked it thoroughly it becomes a nice smooth paste).
After the chicken is washed and patted dry, salt and pepper it all over including the cavity. Gently lift the skin around the breast bone and thighs and legs. With your fingers scoop some of the butter mixture and insert it under the skin being careful not to tear it. Rub the remaining butter on the outside of the chicken, making sure you have you have covered as much areas as possible.
Place the prunes, apple, garlic and shallots inside the cavity and secure the entrance with some toothpicks. Tie the legs together with some kitchen twine.
Place the chicken on a roasting or pan and roast in a convection oven until the skin is crisp and golden brown and the juices run clear when piercing with a sharp knife. An oven thermometer should register 165F. Allow the chicken to rest for 15 minutes before carving.
ROASTED ROOT VEGGIES
These roasted veg are absolute roasted perfection. The combination is mind-blowing and paired with the chicken will make for the most spectacular weekday or Sunday dinner.
large parsnips – peeled and cut into med cubes
2 large carrots – peeled and cut into medium cubes
1 Turnip – cut into medium chunks
1 whole head of fennel – cut into wedged chunks
10 shallots – or cippolini onions left whole
10 whole garlic cloves
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
3 TBSP EVOO
Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
Cut the veg into equal size chunks to ensure even roasting and place them inside a working bowl. Add the whole garlic cloves and the shallots. Chop the rosemary and add to the bowl with a generous sprinkling of EVOO, Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper. Mix everything well to coat the veg.
Line a roasting tray with foil and dump the contents of the bowl and spread the veg into an even layer. Place the veggies under the chicken in the oven and roast for about 30-40 minutes to cook. Ensure you are turning the tray around a few times and shaking them to ensure even roasting and they don’t stick.