Guillaume "polishes" the chicken with a knob of butter at the end of the cooking to help it attain perfection. He serves the chicken with two cauliflower side dishes – one a simple cauliflower puree and the other a dish of pan-fried cauliflower and shallots accented with a little more truffle. Inspired!
Get your hands on a high-quality chicken for this golden roast, fragrant with discs of truffle sitting under the skin.
Roast chicken with truffle
- 1.6 kg chicken
- 1 black truffle (around 50 g), finely shaved
- 1 head garlic, sliced in half through the cloves
- thyme sprigs
- rosemary sprigs
- bay leaves
- 3 tbsp butter
- sea salt
Cauliflower, truffle and caramelised shallots
- ½ cauliflower, broken into florets
- 2 tbsp butter
- 5 French shallots, halved
- pinch of sugar
- roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
- remaining truffle from the chicken
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cauliflower, broken into florets
- 500 ml chicken stock
- 2 tbsp whipped cream
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat the oven to 220°C. Carefully insert your fingers between the skin and breasts of the chicken, moving all the way to the end of the breasts to create a pocket under the skin.
Place 4 or 5 large slices of truffle on each breast underneath the skin. Pull the skin back over the breasts to secure the slices of truffle. Place half the garlic inside the chicken, along with a generous bundle of thyme and rosemary and about 3 bay leaves.
Tuck the wings beneath the chicken. Truss the chicken by looping a long length of butcher’s string under the chicken and around the tips of the legs. Cross the pieces of string and loop each one around the facing leg tip to pull the legs in tight to the breasts. Take the string to the back of the chicken, going underneath the wings, then around the remaining length of neck to pull the skin tight across the breasts. Tie firmly in a knot.
Rub the chicken all over with 2 tablespoons of the butter and season with salt. Line a roasting pan with a generous bed of thyme, rosemary and bay leaves. Nestle the remaining piece of garlic into the herbs and sit the chicken on top of the herbs and garlic. Roast for 45–60 minutes, until the juices run clear. Once the chicken is cooked, rub it with the remaining butter, remove it from the pan, and cover with foil to keep warm. Take the herbs and garlic from the pan and bring the cooking juices to a simmer on the stovetop. Cook until reduced by about half.
While the chicken is in the oven, make the cauliflower dishes. For the cauliflower with truffle and caramelised shallots, bring a saucepan of water to the boil and add the cauliflower. Boil for a few minutes, then drain.
For the cauliflower puree, put the cauliflower in a saucepan with the chicken stock and simmer until soft.
Melt the butter in a frying pan and add the shallots and sugar. Fry until glossy and caramelised. Add the plain boiled cauliflower and sauté for a few minutes, letting the florets colour a little. Sprinkle with parsley and the remaining shaved truffle and season to taste. Toss for another 30 seconds before removing from the heat.
Drain the cauliflower boiled in stock, reserving the stock, and return to the saucepan. Puree with a stick blender, adding a small splash of the stock to loosen the puree if needed. Pass through a fine sieve to give a velvety texture. Stir in the whipped cream. Gently reheat the puree if needed.
Carve the chicken. Spoon some cauliflower puree onto each plate and top with the chicken. Arrange the warm cauliflower, truffle and shallot salad around the chicken. Drizzle with the reduced cooking juices.