Monday, July 9, 2012

Roasted Chicken with Black Truffles and Porcini Mushrooms

The best homemade Primal chicken dish ever.

I absolutely love mushrooms, especially wild exotic ones and I have been meaning to make a Primal dish that can really showcase the flavors.  The problem with wild mushrooms is that they are hard to get a hold of, let alone fresh.

Last week, while in Santa Rosa, I stumbled upon some dried Porcini and Morel mushrooms for a reasonable price at Savory Spice Shop (btw, best spice shop ever).  An ounce of dried Porcini mushrooms costed me about $8 and $16 for Morels.  This would have probably costed me much more at Whole Foods, if they even had any.  I also had some canned whole black truffles from my trip to Italy.  With Truffles, Morels, and Porcini mushrooms all in stock, I was prepared to create some glorious wild mushroom dishes.

This is, hands down, the most awesome homemade chicken dish I have ever made.  Thanks to a combined effort with Colin, another foodie.  The entire chicken alone (including the breast), was so soft, tender, juicy, and full of flavor!  Even better than the gourmet Rotisserie chicken at Calafia or RoliRoti.  Covered with the awesome truffle and Porcini sauce, it was no joke, super mouth-watering!

This recipe makes use of white wine and heavy cream.  Some of you super Paleo people are immediately turned off by that.  I follow the Primal diet because I love food and do not want to limit myself too much.  According to Mark's Daily Apple, white wine and heavy cream are Primal, in moderation (A Guide to Healthy Drinking | The Definitive Guide to Dairy).  The white wine and the heavy cream get boiled down anyway.  The other thing this recipe uses is chicken innards.  Yup that's right, the kidneys, liver, the neck, and the pan drippings... SO PALEO, bitches.  So chill out and enjoy the meal.

The chicken was brined the night before.  Unlike my recent recipe posts, this dish took a couple hours to make, including roasting time.  Either go all out or keep it simple, yeah?

FYI, I don't eat like this everyday and I don't always have wild mushrooms in stock.  I do however, keep my eye out for them and buy them when I see a good deal.  I get the ingredients are hard to find but you can still get deliciousness out of this recipe without exactly every ingredient it calls for.  Sub truffle oil/butter and salt for truffles, Porcini mushrooms for other wild mushrooms.  Wild mushrooms tend to go well with shallots and a light sauce.  And if you are lazy, chicken breast for the whole roasted chicken.  Though you will have to add chicken stock to the sauce.  


Ingredients for the Brine:
  • 1 Organic Free Range Chicken
  • 3/4 cup Salt
  • 2 Tsp Garlic Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Paprika
  • 1 Tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 Tsp Cayenne
Ingredients for the Chicken:
  • 1 small Sweet Onion, sliced (enough to stuff cavity)
  • 5 sprigs Thyme
  • 2 leaves Sage
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted grass-fed Butter
  • 1 Black Truffle, thinly shaved
  • Red Hawaiian Red Alaea Sea Salt (I've gotten so into salt recently)
  • Garlic Pepper
  • Butcher string
Ingredients for the Sauce:
  • Pan drippings from roasted chicken (about 3/4 cup)
  • Chicken innards (1/2 liver + kidney), blended with white wine
  • Chicken neck
  • Chicken fat from roasted chicken
  • 4-6 cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 Shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted grass-fed Butter
  • 1.5 cup White Wine (I used Pinot Gris)
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1oz dried Porcini Mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 small Black Truffle, thinly sliced

Instructions for the Brine (the night before): This is optional, but it made the chicken extra tender and juicy.  The purpose of brining is to increase flavor, texture and moisture content.  Normally sugar is added to the brine, but we skipped that and it still turned out great.
  1. Remove the neck and the innards, but don't discard them.  Save them for the sauce.
  2. In the large mixing bowl (large enough to fit the chicken), add the 3/4 cup salt, 2 tsp garlic pepper, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp chili powder, and 1 tsp cayenne.  Add enough water to wet the spices.  Mix.  Heat mixture at a medium heat and bring it to a boil.  Keep it boiling until the salt dissolves.
    2. Heating the brine solution.
  3. Add enough cold water to completely cover the chicken (about a gallon).  To keep the chicken submerged, you can put a plate on top.
  4. Cover and refrigerate.  Brine for at least 3 hours, and no more than 8 hours.
    3. Cover and refrigerate.  Used a plate to keep the chicken submerged (not pictured).
  5. After 3-8 hours, remove the chicken from the brine solution.  Discard the brine solution.  Pat it dry with paper towels.  SUPER DRY.  Save the pan drippings for the sauce.  Refrigerate it until use.

Instructions for the Chicken: The roasted chicken alone was delicious!
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.  Gather ingredients.  Slice the sweet onion.  Use a truffle/chocolate shaver to make very thin truffle slices.
  2. Make thin slices of the 3 Tbsp of butter.  Carefully lift the skin and put the thin butter slices underneath.  Also place the truffle slices underneath the skin.  If you don't have truffles, and still want the truffle flavor, you can use truffle oil/butter and truffle salt instead.
  3. Make sure your chicken is pat dried, inside and out!  Stuff the cavity with sliced sweet onions, 5 sprigs of thyme, and 2 sage leaves.  Put your chicken in the cast iron skillet.
    4. Stuffed chicken.  Also for step 2, slices of butter and truffles underneath the skin.  You can also use truffle oil/butter instead for a similar flavor.
  4. Truss the bird with the butcher string.  Thomas Keller claims it makes the chicken cook more evenly and the presentation is nicer.  You can skip this step if you want.
    5. Trussing the bird.
  5. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.  I used fancy hawaiian salt, yea yea.
    6. Ready for the oven!
  6. Cover the cast iron skillet with foil and put it in the oven to roast.  Roast for about 40 minutes.
  7. Reduce the heat to 350F and roast chicken for about another 45 minutes, or until the thermometer registers 160F.  Check every 5 minutes or so.
  8. Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
    7. Roasted chicken with black truffles!

Instructions for the Sauce:
  1. While the chicken is chillin, gather ingredients.  Pour the pan drippings from the cast iron skillet into a cup.  Finely chop the garlic and shallot.  I used a food processor for this.  If you have dried Porcinis, bring water to a boil in the sauce pan.  Soak them in the hot water, covered for ~20 minutes then pat them dry.  You can save the mushroom water for later and make mushroom soup out of it.  Slice the large Porcinis in half.  Use a truffle/chocolate shaver to make very thin slices of the truffle.
    8. Sauce ingredients: White wine, Porcini Mushrooms, Pan drippings from chicken.
  2. Scoop the fat from the top of the pan drippings and add the 1 Tbsp of butter to the same cast iron skillet you used to roast the chicken.  Add the shallots and garlic and saute over medium-high heat for a couple minutes.
  3. Add the chicken innards (1/2 liver and kidneys), and the neck, and saute until the shallots are browned.
    9. Making use of the entire chicken... so Chinese.
  4. Add the 1/2 cup of white wine and saute for another couple minutes.
    10. Adding white wine.
  5. Remove the neck and discard.  Transfer the rest of the mixture to a food processor (white wine, shallots, garlic, chicken innards), and pulse the crap out of it.  Return mixture to the same cast iron skillet.
  6. Add the Porcini mushrooms.  Saute for a couple minutes.
  7. Add the pan drippings (about 3/4 cup), 1/2 cup of heavy cream to the skillet.  Stir, stir, stir, and keep stirring.  Reduce the heat to medium.
    11. Adding pan drippings.
  8. Keep stirring.  Let the mixture reduce to desired consistency.  No need for extra salt or pepper.  The sauce is already full of flavor!  When you have reached the desired consistency, add the shaved black truffles.  Remove from skillet.
    12. Good consistency.
Cut up/carve, whatever to the chicken and serve!

13. The final product.  Roasted truffled chicken, wild mushroom sauce, and simple salad tossed with fine olive oil from Italy.

14. More food porn, hehehe.  But really, this was hands down the BEST homemade chicken dish.

The salad was super easy to make.  I chopped up 1/2 a red onion and sliced the cherry tomatoes in half.  Then I tossed it with a pre-washed pack of organic mixed greens.  Topped the salad off with some roasted walnut halves and fine, high quality, fresh olive oil from Italy.

15. My plate.  Continuing on the Italian theme, I enjoyed it with a nice glass of Nebbiolo.  

Hope you guys enjoy this recipe just as much as I did!  Definitely well worth the effort to make it and the flavors really do come out well.  It is truly one of the best chicken dishes I've ever eaten. 

Related Posts: Truffle Omelette | Morels with Madeira | Whole Roasted Chicken on a Bed of Root VegetablesSautéed Mushrooms & Variations