What I had for dinner:

Le Poulet à la Clay

redux & revisited

[ Previous ] 29 Mar 1995 01:16:24 -0500 [   Next   ]

Clay's recipe of roasted chicken with lemon prompted me to return to what was, I think, the first recipe that I ever devised: a baked chicken with paprika and sherry. Rather than stuffing the chicken with the lemon, I thought of adding it to the basting sauce.

The sauce is prepared by browning gently chopped shallots in butter and duck fat, then adding the grated rind of one lemon, 1/4 cup of sherry or port, and the juice from the lemon, cooking up the mixture to a good boil, and stirring into it a heaping tablespoon of good Hungarian paprika.

The chicken is split and the carcass removed (to a broth pot), and a few slits are cut into both sides. With a brush, some of the sauce (mostly the liquid at first) is painted over both sides, and the chicken is set to bake at high temperature (400-450F) with a little (a glassful) water in the pan. Once in a while, the chicken is taken out of the oven, repainted with the sauce, and turned over. At the end, the shallot and lemon rind mass is worked into the slits, and baked until fairly dry but not burning.

The liquid from the pan is strained, and the solids and the defatted liquid are returned to their original pan, with if necessary a little chicken broth from a previous run, and reheated.

The chicken is then served with baked vegetables (tonight, it was fennel) or mashed potatoes, and the gravy on the side.

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