Magazine article The Spectator

Poule and Pot

Magazine article The Spectator

Poule and Pot

Article excerpt

ON SUNDAY we have the great feast of Pentecost, or Whit Sunday, derived from White Sunday, so called because it was a season during which there were many baptisms, for which the candidates wore white garments. During the week leading up to it we have dear little Madeleine Barat, born ten years before the French Revolution, who was obviously a whizz kid, becoming a mother superior at 23 and setting up a society to educate girls at Amiens in 1801. By 1865 she had founded over 100 houses and schools in 12 countries, including the United States. On 26 May we had the feast of our own patron saint at the London Oratory, Philip Neri, followed by the great St Augustine of Canterbury, Germain of Paris, and Theodosia of Constantinople, who killed one of the emperor's officers by shaking him off a high ladder while he was trying to destroy an icon of Christ. She then stoned the palace of the heretic patriarch and was tortured and killed for her trouble. Joan of Arc, Petronilla, Cantius, Cantianus and Cantianella finish off the week in style. My invaluable Mr Claude Kauffmann, he of the Brazilian Feijoada, has sent me another wonderful receipt for a simple chicken dish which will be a delight to any of the anti-fat folk. It comes from a celebrated Venetian chef. It is simple and easy to prepare and absolutely mouth-watering. The secret lies in a herbed salt.

Roast chicken with herbed salt 1 large natural chicken 2 heaped tablespoons herbed salt 3 large garlic cloves, peeled 3 sprigs fresh rosemary 2 sprigs fresh thyme

Pre-heat the oven to Gas 6, F400, C200. Rub the herbed salt into both the inside and outside of the chicken. Place the garlic (slightly bashed), rosemary and thyme inside the bird. Place the chicken in a roasting tray and cook in the oven for about 90 minutes until well golden and the thigh juices run a clear colour when pierced.

Take it from the oven and let it stand or rest at room temperature for 15 minutes before carving - this makes all the difference. Remember, do not use any butter, oil or fat. Serve with any delicious vegetables you have to hand, tiny new potatoes, buttered carrots etc.... Now the salt. Herbed salt 1 lb of fine sea salt 4 heaped tablespoons fresh rosemary 4 heaped tablespoons fresh thyme 2 heaped tablespoons fresh marjoram 12 garlic cloves, peeled

Cut all the herbs and garlic as finely as possible - use a food processor, a blender, or a very good sharp knife. …

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