Umami Roast Chicken

This is such a fabulous recipe, it’s super easy, extremely tasty and really quick to make.  It makes a great change to a traditional Roast Chicken and is a winner every time with family and friends.  I served with roast potatoes coated in polenta to make them super crispy and a steamed veggies to help cut through the spice of the gravy.  The original recipe was found by my husband from The Telegraph Weekend section about year ago, I can only apologise for not sharing it sooner. Enjoy x

INGREDIENTS

1.5-2kg free-range chicken – serves 4-5
3 onions, quartered
1 rosemary sprig
1 small handful of dried mushrooms, such as shiitake
6 tbsp olive oil
300ml red wine
For the super-savoury paste
1 chicken stock cube
3 large garlic cloves
4 sun-dried tomatoes
1½ tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
½ tbsp tomato purée
½ tbsp soy sauce
½ tbsp fish sauce
1½ tbsp paprika
½ tsp chilli flakes
2 rosemary sprigs (leaves only), plus extra for garnishing

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

Pat the chicken dry with some paper towels. Place two onion quarters, the sprig of rosemary and the dried mushrooms into the cavity of the chicken.

Take the remaining onion quarters and place them in a roasting tray to form a trivet (three-pronged stand) and place the chicken on top.

Rub the chicken all over with the olive oil and pour any extra into the tray – this is necessary to create a robust gravy. Season with a sprinkling of sea salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Place in the preheated oven, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the paste by putting all the ingredients into a food processor and blending until smooth. Mix the paste with the wine and 300ml water in a large jug.

After 20 minutes, turn down the oven temperature to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Remove the tray and pour the paste and wine mixture around the chicken – it is important that you don’t pour it over the chicken at this stage. Put back into the oven for 50 minutes.

Take the chicken out of the oven again. For a total flavour-bomb attack, carefully baste the chicken with the rich gravy from the tray, spooning it all over the chicken and into every crevice.

Place back in the oven for a final 15 minutes so that the skin takes on all the flavour of the sauce.

Ensure the chicken is cooked by inserting a skewer between the leg and breast. If the juices run clear, then it is cooked.

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