BIG TONI’S ITALIAN KITCHEN

Marry me chicken

It is said that if your better half tastes this amazing Chicken dish they will beg you to marry them, is reputedly behind dozens of proposals over the years and when you taste it you will understand why.

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I first cooked this dish in Singapore back in the early 90’s when I was given Marchella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. I have made one or two changes over the years but not a lot, the original was so excellent it didn’t need changing.

I’ve added garlic and fresh herbs to the chicken, but that’s about all. 

For four people

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  •     One 3 to 4 pound whole free range chicken
  •     5 teaspoons of sea salt
  •     10 turns of the pepper mill
  •     2 lemons stabbed all over with a fork
  •     1 whole head of garlic chopped
  •     1 handful of chopped rosemary and tarragon
  •     Olive oil 

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How to make:

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Place the chicken on a small rack in a roasting pan. 

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Rub 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 the pepper, garlic, and herbs into the cavity with the lemons. Rub the oil remaining salt and pepper all over the skin. Tie the legs together with string.

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Preheat the oven to 200c, for 15 minutes you need a really hot oven.

When the oven is hot, put the chicken in breast side down in a roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes. 

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Remove the chicken from the oven and carefully turn it so the breast is facing up. Put it back into the oven, turn the temperature down to 180c and roast for about 30 more minutes. The chicken will be golden and crisp and the juices should be running clear. It’s inside temperature should be -75c 

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Take the chicken out of the oven and let it rest, covered with foil for 15 minutes. 

Carve and serve with the juices from the pan and the inside of the chicken, it is important to use these juices they add fantastic flavour to this dish.

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Jason’s Wine recommendations

It provides the perfect balancing act to go with all the herb-infused chicken.

Full bodied but lightly oaked Mersault.

Marry me chicken – This fine roast chicken with it’s lemon and herby flavours pairs perfectly with a white Burgundy. It provides the perfect balancing act to go with all the herb-infused chicken. It’s a celebration day roast so try a full bodied but lightly oaked Mersault.

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Hope you enjoy it.

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Royal Marry me Chicken?

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Prince Harry revealed in Nov 17 that he proposed to US actress Meghan Markle over roast chicken, and said she would be “unbelievably good” at her new royal role despite its pressures.

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Could it be another wedding down to “Marry me Chicken” Will we ever find out?