Crispy, juicy and oh so magnifique, this roast chicken recipe will make you look like a pro chef in the kitchen.
1 gallon (3.75L) water
2 cups kosher salt
1/2 cup honey
1 whole chicken, neck removed
1 lemon, cut in half
5 cloves garlic, crushed lightly
1 bunch thyme
1 bunch rosemary
3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
20 spears jumbo white asparagus (each around 1-inch (2.5cm) thick)
1 tablespoon sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste
Measure one half gallon of water and bring to a boil. Dissolve the salt and honey into the boiling water and then add the remaining half gallon of water.
Mix well and chill completely.
While the brine is chilling, tightly truss the chicken with butcher twine then submerge it into the cold brine for 30 to 45 minutes. Remove the chicken and pat dry. TIP: For extra crispy skin, leave the chicken uncovered to dry in the fridge overnight before proceeding to step three.
Preheat your oven to 425°F and stuff the lemon, garlic cloves and herbs inside the cavity. Place the chicken inside a roasting pan and rub the softened butter over the skin. Transfer the pan to a centered rack in the oven and roast for 15 minutes, basting once with the drippings in the pan. Reduce the oven to 350°F and continue cooking for another 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest around 20 to 30 minutes.
Morels à la crème
To clean the morels, dunk them in a bowl of cold water, drain, and repeat until the water runs clear. Strain, and pat dry with a towel.
Melt the butter in a three-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic and cook, stirring, for two minutes until softened but not browned. Add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook, stirring, until the liquid has evaporated.
Add the port wine and simmer until almost dry. Add chicken stock and cream, and simmer until liquid has reduced by half.
Fill a large pot with two gallons of water; add the sugar and season with salt. Bring to a boil.
Prepare each asparagus spear by laying it flat on a cutting board and lightly peeling from just below its tips to the end, rolling it clockwise as you work. Trim and discard the bottom fibrous one-inch. Repeat with the remaining asparagus. TIP: For even cooking, use butcher’s twine to secure bunches made of five spears before cooking.
Add the asparagus to the boiling water and poach for around nine minutes, or until easily pierced with the tip of a knife. Strain onto a tray lined with paper towels, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Serve family style on a platter alongside the Roast Chicken and Morels à la Crème. Bon Appétit!