La Grillade's corn-fed chicken with thyme

Thursday, May 10, 2012
La Grillade's corn-fed chicken with thyme

Residing in the leafy suburb of Crows Nest in Sydney's lower north shore, La Grillade has been restored to its former glory by the deft and professional touch of Manta's Rob Rubis. The setting; double linens, teracotta tiles with a touch of French farm house, begs for long lunches. Suits and skirts alike could linger over chauteabriand and a glass of beaujolias. Meat is highly prized here, individually sourced and left to shine in its simple, classic French presentation. Warm, attentive service keeps the balance between suburb and sophistication for many happy diners.

La Grillade's free range corn-fed chicken cooked on the bone with thyme, fricassee of carrot & fava bean

Serves 4

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For the brine
3.8 litre of water
1 cup of fine salt
1/4 cup of plus 2 tablespoons honey
12 bay leaves
1/2 cup of garlic cloves, skin left on, smashed
2 tablespoons of black peppercorns
3 large sprigs of rosemary
1 large bunch of thyme sprigs
1 large bunch of parsley sprigs
Grated zest and juice of 2 large lemons

For the chicken
2 size 12 holmbrae farm chicken, brined, carefully separate the skin from breasts
Olive oil
Herbs desired, lemon, garlic gloves, for filling the cavities

For the roasted chicken sauce
3 kg of chicken wings
12 cloves of garlic
Chicken skin, if available
250 g of butter for roasting chicken wings
2 liter of brown chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
Zest & juice of 3 lemons
Potato starch, diluted with little water

For the fricassee of carrot & fava bean
3 leek, cleaned and sliced
3 clove of garlic, finely grated
200 g of butter
150 g of Japanese potato flour
A few sprigs of tarragon stalks
3 cup of white wine
3 cup of chicken stock
1 bunch Dutch carrots, peeled, blanched, trimmed to equal length
1 bunch of heirloom purple carrots, peeled, steamed, cut into 1.5 cm dices
1 bunch of heirloom yellow carrots, peeled, steamed, cut into 1.5 cm dices
2 kg of fava beans, shelled (gives about 3 cups)
3 heaped tablespoon of cr&eacture;me fraiche
1 tablespoon of chopped tarragon

To finish
Micro chervil
Light veal jus


For the brine
Combine all the ingredients in a large pot, cover, and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring to dissolve the salt. Remove from heat and cool completely before using. Rinse each chicken under cold running water. Remove both Maryland for later use. Put the chicken in the pot of brine and weight the chicken down with a plate to keep submerged. Refrigerate for 6 hours.

For the chicken
Rinse the brined chicken and pat dry. Coat with olive oil and add in desired herbs, garlic, lemon into the cavities. Seal the chicken in vacuum bags under medium high pressure. Cook the chicken in water bath at 62.5 C∘for 1 1/2 hours. Remove from water bath and stock in iced water bath. Just before serving, reheat the chicken in water bath for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove chicken from bags and pat dry. Heat olive oil and butter in a heavy base pan over high heat to very hot, but not smoking. Cook the chicken in the pan, skin side down, to golden brown. Add in garlic bulbs and woody thyme. Base with butter if desire. Cut the chicken breasts and serve immediately.

For the roasted chicken butter sauce
To make roast chicken sauce we needed to capture the flavours of roast chicken skin blended with caramelized butter and infused with roasted garlic, thyme and lemon. In order to increase the surface area of available skin started with wings. Seasoned the wings with salt and smoked black pepper. Then added butter and whole garlic cloves to the pan. When everything was combined and placed the roasting pan in the oven. In less than an hour you will have a pan of beautifully roasted chicken wings. Allowed the chicken wings to cool in the butter, allowing any juices to transfer to the butter. Removed the cooled wings from the pan and poured the butter and juices into a thermomix. I then peeled the browned chicken skin from the wings and added it to the butter. The whole garlic cloves, which infused the butter with the notes of sweet allium, were tender and beckoned to be squeezed into the butter. Process chicken butter to creamy. The result is a concentrated, creamy, emulsified expression of the buttery pan drippings. Use roasted chicken butter to monte with brown chicken stock to enrich the “roasting” flavour. Add a little veal jus for colour. Bring the mixture to the boil and reduce heat to simmer. Use an immersion blender to create an emulsion, while drizzle in the potato starch solution. Bring back to the boil to ensure starch cook out.

For the fricassee of carrot & fava bean
Heat butter over medium heat in a pot. When butter starts to foam up, add in leek and garlic. Cook leek and garlic to soften and not burn. Deglaze with white wine and reduce to half. Add in chicken stock and diced carrot. Cook for 10 minutes over simmering to carrot is tender but still al dente. Make a potato starch solution with a little water to dilute. Drizzle in the potato starch solution, little by little, and slowly bring to the boil. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and white pepper. Once it is thickened, remove pot from heat. Allow cooling for 5 minutes, before folding in the créme fraiche, fava beans, chopped tarragon. Add in a little lemon juice if desire.

Watch how to make the perfect creme brulee

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