Thanksgiving weekend is upon us and for many that means a big turkey dinner with all the traditional sides that Grandma used to make, but what if you’re tired of turkey? What if you’ve seen one too many bowls of turkey soup in the weeks that follow Thanksgiving? What if you’re up for a change? Well in that case, it’s time for something sinfully delicious, like Foie Gras Roasted Chicken!
Ours is not a turkey household, with only the three of us I can only imagine how long we’d be eating turkey – turkey curry, turkey pot pie, turkey lasagna, turkey soup – so we often opt for something different. Herb crusted lamb chops, guinea fowl, cornish hens, smoked pork hocks, ham or duck, but this year I could not resist Ricardo’s Foie Gras Roasted Chicken.
As celebrity chefs go I have a great deal of respect for Ricardo. I remember the first time I saw him on Canada’s Food Network, casually strolling through an orchard talking about savoury cooking with apples and apple cider and fall flavour combinations, with his big smile and adorable French Canadian accent. He’s even inspired a recipe or two on Food Gypsy, like the Asian Pear Gingerbread Cake, which is one of my mid-winter favorites.
Since moving to Quebec about four years ago I’ve become a fan of Ricardo, the magazine. Solid recipes, gorgeous food styling and tablescape ideas, Richardo still inspires. Now available just across the river in Ontario (and in the rest of Canada) in English, I still pick up my copy in French to help me continue on the path of improving my language skills. (I’m determined to be bilingual, no matter how much it tests my Anglo tongue.) What better place to learn than in the kitchen. (Except for the Best Cookie edition, that is in English because… cookies… hel-lo!)
Fortuantly, ricardocusine.com is in both offical laugauges and publishes amazing new content regualry. The site must have a hundred chicken recipes, and I’m always on the lookout for sensational new chicken ideas, but the Foie Gras Chicken recipe caught my eye. It’s not an overly complicated technique, a bit of blending and some minor butchey but nothing a confident home cook can’t tackle with a sharp knife and a stiff drink.
Recipe Notes: Like any recipe, I always read it through first to see if it fits my family’s taste and budget. Ricardo’s version called for a potion of torchon au foie gras and duck fat blended smooth in a robot coupe and then (carefully) rubbed under the skin of the bird before chilling for two hours and roasting. I considered that I could do exactly that, or I could use a piece of raw foie gras and blend it with the duck fat (and a dash of brandy) for a similar effect and flavour. But essentially, what you’re making once that foie gras hits the food processor is paté, so if you want to take a more economical route, you could use a foie gras paté, which is the direction I decided to take.
Foie Gras Cost Analysis: 120 grams of torchon au foie gras, about $15 CAD, the same amount of raw foie gras will run you about $12 CAD or you can pick up foie gras paté for about $5 CAD. The biggest difference if the fat, you’ll have better tasting yellow, sweet fat from either the torchon or the raw foie gras liver.
I also ditched the chilling step, as it’s really not necessary. You’re going into a hot oven, chilling for two hours to allow the foie gras to set won’t change the flavour or the end result. Where it might come in handy however, is if you want to prepare ahead of time. Then by all means do chill prior to cooking, as this is not a recipe that holds hot or reheats well. It’s best served, immediately after resting, with the skin still crisp thanks to the additional of a layer of duck fat and a generous sprinkle of breadcrumbs.
A terrific recipe for your next dinner party, I served this Foie Gras Chicken along with a French bread stuffing made with mushrooms, hazelnuts and dried cherries. Foie gras works well with fruit compotes made with oranges, cherries, or figs, so I wanted that sweetness to heighten the smooth richness of the flavour and off-set any bitterness.
If you’re looking for a wine pairing try it against a Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, or a medium bodied red. If you enjoy sweet wines try a good Canadian Ice Wine or a Sauterne providing that level of sugar won’t overpower the rest of the meal. Frugal wine tip — French Sauternes can run you $50 – 60 bucks, try a Chilean instead, they retail for about $25 and are equally as good. Ricardo used ice wine or sauterne to deglaze the roasting pan for the sauce, that’s a little too sweet for our tastes, but in the glass, it’s the perfect combination.
Wherever you are this weekend, may you have every reason to be truly thankful. And from me to you, thank you for reading Food Gypsy!
Foie Gras Roasted Chicken Recipe
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 45 – 65 minutes
Serves four to six
1 roasting chicken, about 4 1/2 pounds (2 kilos)
1/4 cup (120ml) duck fat or butter, softened
4 ounces (115g) foie gras torchon, raw foie gras or paté – at room temperature (see notes above)
1 tablespoon (15ml) breadcrumbs
salt & pepper – to taste
1 cup (125ml) chicken stock
1/4 cup white wine
2 tablespoons (30g) flour
salt & pepper – to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). In a bowl or robot coupe, combine the foie gras and half the duck fat until smooth. Then reserve at room temperature.
2. Prepare your chicken, cutting it with a sharp chef’s knife or a pair of kitchen sheers down either side of the back bone so that it lies flat. With the heel of your hand press down on the breastplate to crush the wishbone slightly and make the chicken even flatter. If you wish, turn the chicken to expose the inside and split it directly down the breast, being careful to keep the skin intact for each piece. Remove the wing tips at the joint, discard both wing tips and back – or use those pieces to make the chicken stock for the sauce while the bird roasts.
3. Starting along the breast line gently separate the skin from the meat, breaking the thin membrane in between with the tips of your fingers, but being sure to keep the skin it intact, and attached. Glide your hand gently under the skin, down the thigh and leg, to help for a nice little envelope for the foie gras.
4. Take about a tablespoon of the foie gras duck fat mixture in the tips of your fingers and rub it under the skin, leaving a layer of foie gras as you go. Repeat this, until all the foie gras is used and the chicken is evenly coated then gently pressing the skin back into place. Use the remaining duck fat and liberally coat the surface of the chicken, both top and bottom and season well. Place chicken, skin side up, in a roasting pan and sprinkle with breadcrumbs before you put it in the oven to roast — 45 to 65 minutes depending on the size of your chicken, or until the internal temperature read taken from the thigh is at a minimum of 165°F (75°C). Rest for 5 to 7 minutes before serving. Reserve warm while making sauce or finishing sides and… amazing.
1. Remove chicken from roasting pan onto serving tray. Remove all but three tablespoons of fat. Place roasting pan over medium-high heat on the stove top and when hot sprinkle in your flour and mix with the fat and pan juices to make a roux. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook your roux for a couple of minutes before deglazing with wine.
2. Using a wooden spoon or pan-freindly spatula, gently scrape all the golden brown bits off the roasting pan until they’re loose and floating in the combined juices. Add chicken stock and mix well with a whisk. When everything comes to a boil reduce your temperature and simmer for about another 12 minutes. Taste and season as needed. The resulting sauce should be smooth and creamy and a rich, golden brown. Serve immediately.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. The company who commissioned this piece compensated me via a cash payment or gift to review this recipe. My participation is voluntary and, as always, the opinions herein are entirely my own.