This is a Thermomix recipe. What is a Thermomix? See end.
It can be done with a stove, pans, pots and a steamer. But this is where the Thermy really shines. It steams the chook, pre-cooks some of the vege and cooks the rest completely, it makes stock then makes gravy from it and it does it all in an hour while you fluff around and drink a glass of something (maybe broth or maybe wine, the chook does also benefit from some). Heck the Thermy can even make the butter to make the tarragon butter! But, it can’t grow the tarragon (well actually I suppose you could use an old bowl as a pot given it would have a nice hole in the base if you took the blades out… hmmm interesting).
I would almost (actually I would most definitely) say that its worth getting a Thermomix just for this recipe. If you cook roast chook every Sunday then honestly this is the best recipe I have ever tried – and I’ve tried Maggie Beers and several other notable chefs. Yet to try Heston’s… but honestly getting a chook this good on the table in an hour… well thats just magical.
Stone Soups Ultimate Roast Chook
4 teaspoons tarragon butter, plus extra
fronds (leaves) of a fennel bulb, and/or the tarragon stalks
1 free range or organic chicken, (size 16 i.e. 1.6 kg)
pinch sea salt
pinch ground white pepper, or nutmeg or paprika
700g water (or 350g white wine & 350g water)
250 grams unsalted butter
4 stalks fresh tarragon, leaves only, or your favourite herb like oregano
1 pinch sea salt, use course or flakes, not rock
The Sides (Paleo, Primal or Potatoes is up to you)
2-4 parsnips, or 1 large sweet potato, or 2 large potatoes
1 bulb fennel, or an apple or onion
1 bunch asparagus, or greens of choice
200g + 2Tbsp stock from steaming
1/2 brown onion
1 tbsp chestnut flour (or ½Tbsp green banana flour)
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp blackstrap molasses
1/2-1 tsp EDC vegetable stock concentrate, or sea salt
In the mixing bowl chop the tarragon for 4 secs./speed 5.
Add the rest of the ingredients and mix 6-8 secs./speed 3.
Scrape into a small jar to keep for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
The Chook & Sides
A big chicken wont fit, so max of 1.6 kilos.
I wash my chook in cold water, season and leave covered for 1-2 hours to come to room temperature before cooking – depending on the heat of the day. If this makes you nervous skip.
From the base of the chook put your fingers under the skin and loosen so you can smear 1 teaspoon of tarragon butter onto each thigh and breast under the skin. Season with sea salt and white pepper and stuff the fennel fronds inside.
Put your chook onto the Varoma base breast side down. Place the base on top of the upturned lid, to rest for as long as you feel comfortable – or at least while you get everything else ready.
Dice your sweet potato and slice up your fennel. Then arrange the sweet potato and fennel around and a little under your chicken – this helps the steam to get around it.
Weigh the water into the mixing bowl, place the lid on and Varoma with your chook on top. Careful with the Varoma lid, it will have a little raw chicken juice in it, tip in or rinse.
Set to cook for 25 mins/Varmoa/speed 3.
Meanwhile preheat your oven to around 220’C.
After the 25 minutes take out the vegetables and toss into a baking dish with a little extra tarragon butter. Put them in the oven to roast and turn over your chook so it is breast side up in the Varoma.
Set the chook to cook for 15 mins/Varoma/speed 3.
When the 15 minutes are up transfer your chook to a roasting pan and roast for 20 minutes or until cooked through and golden.
Trim the asparagus and place into the Varoma tray.
When the chook comes of the oven, carefully tip the liquid inside the cavity into the mixing bowl with the steaming liquid.
Let the chook rest for 10 minutes while the vege roasts some more and you make the gravy.
Pour the steaming liquid (now gorgeous chicken stock) in the mixing bowl into a jug and leave to settle while you wash and dry the bowl.
Chop the onion for 4 secs/speed 5 and add some of the fat/butter that floats to the top of the stock.
Sauté the onion for 3 mins/Varoma/speed 3 with the Varoma on top with the asparagus in it.
Add 200 grams of the stock to the mixing bowl and cook for 5 mins/Varoma/speed 3.
Mix the flour with 2 tablespoons of reserved stock and add to the mixing bowl.
Cook for 2 mins/Varoma/speed 3 with the asparagus back on top.
Taste and add the rest of the ingredients to taste. Stir for 4-6 secs/speed 3.
Add the juice that gathers on the platter with the resting chook to the gravy or to the left over stock.
The gravy may look thin, but by the time everything is served it will thicken up.
Take the roasting vege out of the oven.
Toss the steamed asparagus with a little extra of the tarragon butter (optional but highly recommended).
Pour your gravy into a gravy boat.
Serve your lovely golden, moist and succulently flavourful roast chook with the golden vege, buttery herbed asparagus and luscious gravy.
This recipe is of course Paleo by nature. The only thing is if you eat butter, if not use ghee, bacon/pork fat or even coconut oil. Use sweet potato for Primal or parsnips for Paleo or good old spuds if you want to.
Chestnut Flour gives a gorgeous nutty flavour to your gravy and everyone will be asking your secret. It is however seasonal and hard to find so you can use green banana flour or any other ‘flour’ thickener.
Happy cooking, and eating!
Adding more vegetables you could easily stretch this out to serve 6. We get 2 adult and one toddler dinner serves plus 4 lunches of sandwiches or salad – both of which you can add the left over sweet potato, fennel and asparagus.
You should have some chicken stock left over to use for soups or to have as a light starter. Or you could just double the gravy recipe and make up the extra liquid needed with white wine, if you like your chicken swimming. But, I find this roast so moist that it doesn’t need much gravy and I am a gravy fiend.
For a lower fat option, don’t use the tarragon butter for the chicken, vege or asparagus. But, lovely Aussie grass fed butter is full of omegas and vitamin D so I even have it spread on left over chicken sandwiches the next day.
A Thermomix is a crazy machine that can make sorbet and risotto or steam a chook. See their website (yes I was a consultant once, now I’m the head chef of a cafe that uses Thermys in their kitchen in place of a stove/oven/food processor and many other typical bench top items. Not because I was a consultant but because they work).