Tender slow cooked chicken
I saw Heston Blumenthal comparing chicken cooked according to the instructions on the bag and his version. the stringy, dried out roasted version looked very familiar, and is probably why I never roast a whole chook. The secret is in brining the chicken to get as much moisture into it as possible and then cooking it low and slow until the internal temperature is 60°C, then letting it rest for a while and then finishing cooking at a very high temperature for about 10 minutes.
I decided to try brining skinned thigh fillets with the following chicken and halloumi recipe. Needless to say chicken will never again be a quick cook recipe. The difference is amazing.
Chicken and Halloumi
- Enough skinless chicken pieces for each person, brined for a minimum of 4 hours
- 1 pack of halloumi, sliced into pieces about 1 cm thick (1 per serving)
- zest from 1 – 2 lemons
- 6 sprigs lemon thyme, I used kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass and ordinary thyme
- 1/4 cup honey mixed with 1/4 cup olive oil
Dry the chicken pieces and cover with brine (scant 1/4 cup salt to 1 litre water) and ensure they are submerged with a plate.
Remove and dry well. Mix the finely sliced lemon grass, thyme and kaffir lime leaves with butter and stuff a small amount into each peice of chicken. Rub the outside with seasoned olive oil and dollops of the seasoned butter. If using unskinned chicken then rub the butter into the skin. It doesn’t stick to the skinned flesh.
Put a thermometer into a thick peice of chicken and set the temperature probe to 65°C. Place in the oven and roast at 90°C for several hours. Leave plenty of time for this step.
Remove from the oven and leave to rest. Set oven to 220°C. Arrange halloumi between the pieces of chicken, spread lemon zest and pour honey mix over. Return to the oven until the halloumi has browned.