The days of fresh herbs from the garden and grilled meats are rapidly coming to a close. It’s cold here in Stuttgart and the herbs and people are feeling it.
Today I decided to make use of both the herbs and grill before it’s too late and to also make a fiddly kind of chicken with roasted vegetables. It’s not hard, takes patience but is well worth the effort.
First I made a paste of chopped garlic, Dijon mustard, sage, rosemary and melted butter.
Then I loosened the skin over the breast, thighs and legs by carefully working my fingertips between the skin and flesh of the chicken. Take it slow, you don’t want to tear the skin. See my hands? It’s like having chicken skin gloves :)
I then smeared the mustard paste onto the flesh I exposed when I made the pockets between the skin and meat, also rubbing some paste all over the outside of the chicken.
I haven’t used this chicken preparation method for over a year and I really should have! It makes the most juicy, succulent, crispy skin chicken in the world! Yes, I said it!
Meantime, Burkina Faso, where our son works, only has two seasons, hot and hotter, so they can and do grill year round.
He proudly e-mailed us a picture of roasted goat head that he had eaten. Encouragingly, his father wrote back, “Good one Brian! Presentation is everything!”
Mustard, Garlic and Herb Grilled Chicken
1 whole organic chicken
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 scant tbsp each, sage and rosemary, chopped
6 cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp melted butter
Cut the chicken up the backbone with awesome kitchen shears. Press down on the breast to flatten. Carefully loosen the skin over the breast, thighs and legs.
Mix the mustard, herbs, garlic and 1/4 cup of the melted butter together. Measure out 1 tbsp, mix together with the 2 tbsp of melted butter and set aside for basting. Smear the rest of the paste between the skin and flesh of the chicken and then all over the outside.
Preheat the gas grill to 400 F. Place the chicken, skin side up, in the center of the grill, turn off the center burner(s), put the top down and grill for about 1 hour, basting with the reserve butter and mustard mixture every 15 minutes.
Wine suggestion: Rose, Petit Chablis or Bourgogne Aligote