Hay Roasted Chicken

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 ounces country white bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk (Tyler likes to use Cruze Farm Dairy buttermilk from Knoxville, Tennessee)
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 golden shallots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons rendered duck fat or unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 ounce sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (2 1/2-pound) chicken
  • 2 handsful unsprayed wheat straw
  • Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
  • Finely grated zest of 2 oranges
  • 10 star anise
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

PREPARATION INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the bread and buttermilk; let stand until the bread softens, about 5 minutes. Drain, then squeeze the excess buttermilk from the bread.

3. In a covered 10-inch cast iron skillet over low heat, sweat the garlic and shallots in 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes. Let cool, then transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender. Add the bread, duck fat, 1 tablespoon of the parsley, the rosemary, and thyme and process into a paste. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 tablespoons parsley and the mustard and season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Gently separate the skin from the chicken breasts with your fingers, being careful not to tear it. Spoon in a little of the stuffing and spread it evenly across each breast by gently running your hand over the skin to smooth it out. Spoon the remaining stuffing into the cavity of the bird. Truss the cavity closed with kitchen twine. Season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

5. Combine the hay, citrus zest, star anise, and fennel and coriander seeds in a 7-quart cast iron Dutch oven.

6. Heat the canola oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet over high heat, then brown the chicken well on all sides. Place the browned chicken on top of the hay mixture, cover, and roast until the juices run clear at the thigh, about 1 1/2 hours. Let rest for 10 minutes before carving into serving pieces.


EJ HODGKINSON