Rotisserie Chicken (Ala Lechon Manok, Part Deux)

DSCF7171 (640x478)The chicken is probably one of the most abused dish on my blog. I just can’t help myself buying a pack or two when they are on sale in the supermarket.  For this blog, I found a small-size fryer on sale which was enough for two meals. I grabbed and bought it without hesitation and just left it in the freezer for a week until I found a proper recipe for it.

It has been a while since I did a faux pas Lechon Manok; very, very long time. It’s the availability and the affordability of the chicken and chicken parts which draws me to making a dish and with little time in my hand, I really wouldn’t have the opportunity to see other butchers in my area. The chicken is always there and always will be, wherever and whenever.  Honestly, I missed the smokiness and the charcoal smell emanating from a Pinoy-Style rotisserie. It’s different and the smoke and maybe even the pollution provides that distinct whiffing, aura only seen in Manila.  When that particular craving descends upon me, I prep myself an entire fryer all to myself. It’s one way of satisfying that need without dealing with either smoke or charcoal (prohibited in a building).  Anyway, here’s Part Deux of my Rotisserie (Roast) Chicken. I wrote one for Iska several years ago (2006..loooong time) and I believe that didn’t go into the brining process.

Brine:

  • Brown Sugar
  • Lemon Grass
  • White Onion
  • Green Onion
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Black Peppercorns
  • Coriander
  • Bay Leaves
  • Lime Peel
  • Sea Salt

Heat a pot of boiling water together with all the other ingredients. Set aside and let cool.  Place the fryer, breast up, into the pot and leave it in the fridge for two to three days.

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Remove the chicken from the pot and discard the brine. Pat dry with a towel and truss using a butcher’s twine. Insert a whole lime or lemon, a stick of lemon grass, and a piece of small onion (or onion peel) into the cavity before trussing. Set it on a roasting pan and roast at medium-to-high or until the skin turns golden; basting every now and then with its own drippings.

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Roasted Chicken

Paris has so much to offer.  The city is so vibrant and invigorating to the soul that a week’s stay is not more than enough.  I finally had the chance to discover the city again after almost 25 years and during that time, I had more appreciation of the sights and the lights that vastly surrounded and scattered the city’s  streets and avenues. It was just so fascinating to see something very ‘familiar’ to the world and to every honeymooning couple upfront and on my face, and soak all the  intricate, and medieval architecture, the extremely fastidious, but fashionable Parisians;  but for all reasons beyond doubt, which I’ve always looked forward too before the trip was the multi-faceted value of French Food (yeah, the French way of prepping food). I wanted to try what I learned in Culinary Professional School years ago just to justify the money I spent for the courses I did  and to a certain extent, clarify whatever questions I had which I would have missed out during that time of my post-post schooling life (was Con-Ed and it wasn’t really a Phd).  I had a goal of trying each classical dish that I made, whether they be French inspired or not, in this highly sophisticated and sometimes snobbish city of love.

It was simplicity, again, at its finest. There was really nothing spectacular about their daily meals as I checked each menu on every brasserie and restaurant cum bar I bumped into, but I noticed how each part was made very specific and special to make a perfectly divine whole; as Italians do. It was eggs, omelets, fries, steaks, and hamburgers similarly available in North America, but somehow done the French way; delicate, smart, and clean. That was the clincher.  It was not hurried and mass-produced.  Wine played a vital role in each meal, and meals were appreciated with jovial conversation with friends; similar to a two hour siesta for the Spaniards. That was impossible to do so here in the North without being charged an arm and a leg for it or getting fired in the process for sleeping in the job.  The French moved fast as expected like in any large city, but they weren’t scurried or looked harassed, and food or dining was sincere pleasure and cultural affection for all which has to be savoured and loved with gusto. Almost everybody heading home carried a baguette. I didn’t want to leave, and like Spain, I know I will do another week sometime soon probably in another town.

During my quick stay, I had the opportunity to try the classics each and everyday. However, my list never seemed to end, and my pockets had its finite capacity for only some popular fares;  Foie Gras, Duck Confit, Pate, Quail, Cheese, Ham, Sandwiches, Artisan Breads, Butter, Lamb, Veal, Sole, Seafood (too bad, I’m allergic) and Roast Chicken;  ofcourse some shopping and souvenirs had to be part of that. The list became longer each day, and I knew I wouldn’t be able try them all eventually. Spain was already knocking on our doorstep and it was time to pack-up sooner or later.  I didn’t have the chance to try the perfectly carved meats sold in their fascinatingly charming Charcuteries even though I had the chance to cook.   The experience was, indeed, memorable; one of those trips you just don’t forget instantly.

On my last day, I accorded to buy a Rotisserie Chicken. It was the simplest, mouth-watering piece of chicken I had seen, and like the Filipino’s Lechon Manok, it was scattered almost everywhere around city streets.  I bought one for lunch. I was tired and my budget had reached its limits and all I had left to do was FB, pack, and make do of what was around the vicinity. I discovered the Rotisserie and aimed for the Roast Chicken with Potatoes.

This blog’s objective is to recreate that Roast Chicken. I already made something very similar when I was still starting, both as a pro and as a contributor. This is a  simpler, stripped version again with only a few enticing ingredients. I used the Chicken Legs and Thighs for faster and easier handling versus a whole Roast which I made initially as a novice.  This is an everyday fare in Paris as an adobo to the Filipino.

This was based on pure observation. I really wouldn’t know what other spices was rubbed to make the French Style Roast, but it was as yellow and as greasy as the Paella I made and the skin stood out on every bite. It was the skin that made the roast very special. The meat was soft and tender, but unlike an Asian roast, was a little insipid. Salt & pepper did  justice for that.  I took it from there and loved the results. Again, think simplicity and quality.

Ingredients:

  • Chicken Legs & Thighs
  • Olive Oil
  • Sazon
  • Sea Salt
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • Yellow Petite Potatoes

Marinate the Chicken Legs and Thighs with the above ingredients for 48 hours.

Peel the yellow petite potatoes and set them under the roasting grill.

Pre-heat the oven at 350’C , place the chicken atop the roastng grill, and shove everything in the oven for about two hours.

When cooked, let the chicken rest for about ten minutes before plating and serving.  Drizzle with the oil that dribbled down the roasting pan during the roasting process. Garnish with finely chopped Parsley.

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