Roast Chicken With Summer Truffle And Thyme
There are many ways to use a precious summer truffle, and for the most part our advice would be to keep it simple. This recipe is hardly complicated, though: a simply roast chicken, served with roast potatoes and some winey juices with just a hint of thyme, lemon and garlic – all infused with rich, aromatic truffle.
- 1 oven-ready chicken, about 2kg
- 80g unsalted butter, softened
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon picked fresh thyme leaves, plus a few extra for serving
- 1 summer truffle, of a fairly decent size (about 20g)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Half a lemon
- 400g potatoes (about 4 large ones)
- 175ml white wine or dry vermouth (about a glass)
- Preheat the oven to 200˚C. Put the chicken into a large roasting tin, untrussing the legs if they are fastened together.
- Put the butter, garlic and thyme into a small bowl. Using a truffle shaver or very sharp knife, cut about half of the truffle into fine shavings or thin slices and set them aside. Grate the remaining truffle into the butter, season well and mix everything together until evenly combined.
- Lift up the skin of the chicken’s breast and gently and gradually work your hands underneath to create a pocket stretching as far back as you can. Be careful to avoid tearing the skin. Using your hands, spread a third of the butter over each breast. Lay the truffle shavings or slices all over the butter. Pull the skin back to cover the breast (you may need to pin it in place using a couple of toothpicks – if so, leave them sticking out so that you can see them clearly for removal later). Spread the remaining butter over the skin of the breast and the tops of the legs. Squeeze the lemon all over the top of the chicken, then tuck the squeezed-out shell inside the body cavity.
- Peel the potatoes and cut them into large chunks. Arrange them in the roasting tin around the bird. Put the roasting tin into the preheated oven and roast for 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and baste the bird with the juices from the pan and turn the potatoes. Some will probably brown faster than others, so move them around a bit.
- Put the tin back in the oven for another 25 minutes, then baste everything and turn the potatoes again. If chicken is looking well browned with juices bubbling under its skin it might be ready. You can check by piercing the fattest part of the thigh with a knife: if the juices run clear and the legs give slightly when pulled, the chicken is ready. If there any pinkness in the juices, return the roasting tin to the oven and cook for another 15 minutes and test again.
- When the chicken is done, lift it out onto a serving dish and leave it to rest with a piece of foil draped loosely over it for ten minutes. (Remember to remove the toothpicks if you used them).Toss the potatoes in the pan juices and return them to the oven to crisp up while the chicken rests.
- When you’re ready to serve, lift the potatoes into the serving dish and scatter with a little thyme. Set the roasting tin over a low heat, and as the juices start to sizzle, throw in the glass of wine. Stir and scrape the browned bits off the pan, and simmer gently until the wine is reduce by half (add a little water or chicken stock if you’d like more of a gravy). Carve the chicken at the table, handing around the roast potatoes and the juices.
Recipe and photos by Otherwise for Wild Food UK