Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pandan Roasted Chicken

Roast chicken was the reason why I bought an oven in the first place. It was in 2006, I think, when I bought this tiny 21L Tefal oven. My first oven! I wanted to cook more oven-roasted meals to save time and energy (washing up). But oftentimes, I would see it sitting idle, and I would try baking cakes and cookies to maximise its usage. That's how I started baking. But that's another story for another day.

Anyway, my sister came over during the weekend to see my kids. I made oven-roasted chicken, one of her favourite dishes. For the longest time, I have been roasting chicken using only salt and (stuffed with) garlic. See the recipe here. It's delicious, but experience has emboldened me, and I've since tweaked this trusty recipe to seek new flavours.



Once, when I had an abundance of pandan leaves leftover from a failed baking project, I used them as stuffing for the chicken. Two huge bunches, stuffed into the cavity and sealed shut with a toothpick. The aroma was out of this world. The best moment was when the roasting was done and it was time to undo the toothpick. As I removed the leaves, the sudden release of intense, intoxicating pandan just hit me ... sweet-scented, swirling, spirally, steaming ... incredible.

That's what I made today - Pandan Roasted Chicken. You do need a lot of leaves, though. Make sure you stuff in as many leaves as you possibly can, for they soften and wilt during cooking. Salt the chicken (1 level tbsp salt) and you're good to go.

One thing that I discovered was that you don't need to pat the chicken dry prior to baking. I always thought this was a crucial step in getting crispy skin. It's not.

Initially, I would diligently pat and pat dry using serviette after serviette. I felt this was terribly environmentally unfriendly. So, I switched to air drying (like making cured hams) before roasting.



One day, I decided enough was enough, and I should see if I could get the same results without all this drying. If it was marginally less crispy, heck, I could live with it. Surprise, surprise! It was no different than before. Crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside. So, ditch the paper serviettes, ditch the drying, save the trees! You heard it from me first. :) Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Since then, I have always roasted chicken without any fuss. And I still get a golden crackling crisp, as you can see from these photos. :)



Recipe
For the chicken
- Preheat the oven to 240 degree celsius (I heat to 260 for my cranky oven)
- Wash the chicken, set aside.
- Wash pandan leaves and bundle them. Stuff as many as you can into the cavity of the chicken.
- Seal with a toothpick.
- Rub the entire chicken using 1 level tbsp of salt.
- Place it breast side up on a lightly oiled tray (I use 2 drops of oil and rub all over the surface). It prevents sticking since I don't use teflon.
- Roast for about 1 hour.
- If your oven does not have a rotisserie function like mine, you have to turn the bird the other side up to get even browning both sides. I do this 6-8 mins before the timer goes off, just for the skin on the underside to brown.
- Take the bird out of the oven and allow it to rest, for the juices to redistribute - about 15mins.

For the gravy
- Through a sieve, pour whatever juices and oils collected from roasting into a saucepan. This will remove the charred bits.
- Add some flour to it (about 2 tsps or more if you want it thicker) and whisk everything into a roux. Let the roux bubble for about 15 seconds just to get rid of the flour-y taste.
- Add some chicken stock and bring everything to a boil, till the gravy thickens. Sometimes I add cream, if I have it.
- Optional: add a dash of sherry or cognac.
- Ready to serve!


Pan-roasted Brastagi potatoes, sautéed Buna Shimeji mushrooms and gravy.

I made a side serving of roasted potatoes and Buna Shimeji mushrooms. Everything was cleaned out. :) I'm glad everyone enjoyed their Sunday brunch.

45 comments:

  1. That crispy skin made me drooling now, since I have not take dinner yet, hehehe..Your kitchen must be full of nice pandan aroma during the roasting, just wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  2. wah pandan chicken, that's the first time I heard of it, so creative. Your chicken skin really looks so crispy and glistening, I'm gonna try your trick next time, thanks for sharing XD

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a perfectly roasted chicken! The colour is amazing and the use of pandan leaves, wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yeah.....I've soon given up on drying them too. We all know how Australians are a bunch of environment freak and kitchen paper towel never come by cheap. The only time they need patting is before pan-frying else they won't brown up nicely and that, I use tea towel and wash it right after one use along with other dirty kitchen cloths. For roasting, I realize salt does the trick. Air dry it in fridge overnight and tonnes of salt and you're guaranteed a crispy skin chicken! Just my two cents, hope it might help someone, someday.

    ReplyDelete
  5. It looks beautifully roasted, Ju!

    ReplyDelete
  6. The chicken skin looks so crispy and very evenly roasted....I shall try too..havent been using the oven for roasts at all..other than cookies and cakes, LOL

    ReplyDelete
  7. I've heard of people wrapping parts of chicken with pandan to fry or bake, but it's a really a first to hear pandan being a stuffing!!!

    Thumbs up!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Ju! Oh my goodness that looks so delicious ~ and that perfectly crisp skin *swoon*! :D

    Thank you for sharing your tried and true method. I'm sure you made your sis very happy with that wonderful meal.

    Now I must go to learn more about pandan. xo

    ReplyDelete
  9. Girlfriend that is one gorgeous roasted chicken...
    I never tire of a great roasted chicken and there are so many things you can do with them...
    Just beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have never tried pandan roasted chicken before, you are a smart girl!

    ReplyDelete
  11. What a delicious looking poulet! We had this last night albeit w/out the pandan when my daughetr and Noah came for dinner..Potatoes included..I at first wondered if you had the TFal tabletop convection oven we bought perhaps 15 yrs ago..but I clicked Google w/ your specs and it's not the same..we still use ours even though we have a real convection/reg oven now..It's almost as if the smaller sizes make the moistest ..roastiest..delicious chicken..Your photos are beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wow.. this sounds interesting by stuffing the chicken with Pandan leaves.... em... I am give this a try.. my son love roasted chicken esp those with crispy skin... your really make us "drool".......

    ReplyDelete
  13. Questo pollo con patatine e funghi, varreo squisito. ottima presentazione.
    Ciao Daniela.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Now you make me want to make roast chicken for dinner :) I never pat dry my chicken either. Since our weather here is pretty cooling I just let it sit on the kitchen counter to air dry. But I always rub a bit of olive oil on the skin before roasting. Great idea Ju to suff it with pandan. I can imagine the nice pandan smell from the chicken. Just like eating Thai pandan chicken.

    ReplyDelete
  15. it's a sign of a great cook to turned a project that didn't go well into something that does..looks great!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Ju, it looks just like store-bought roast chicken!! I'm gonna try make roast chicken, too! Thanks for inspiring me ... But, I may start with rosemary first?

    Pei-Lin

    ReplyDelete
  17. I agree with Quinn. The salt is the secret ingredient that makes the skin crispy. No salt, no crisp. Great looking chick. **JJ**

    ReplyDelete
  18. oh this is new to me! pandan must give the chicken such a wholesome sweet flavour! :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Your photos are extraordinary !
    I never succeed in doing a chicken so crispy and I love that, now I know what I have to do, thank you

    ReplyDelete
  20. Ju, beautiful chicken and equally beautiful photos. Also, I have picked up some tips from your comments column - makes scientific sense- what Quinn and Anonymous says about salt. Salt draws out moisture from meat - that's why the Cantonese always insists never to use salt to marinate meat, it dries out the meat.(use soya sauce instead)

    ReplyDelete
  21. When I make this, I'm roasting two whole chickens at once! I KNOW where to find Pandan leaves too......God BLESS YOU!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. ton roti est bien croustillant il me semble délicieux et merci pour la méthode j'en prends note
    bonne soirée

    ReplyDelete
  23. Ju
    That was a brilliant idea to make use of pandan leaves as a stuffing.

    Cheers to you !
    melanie

    ReplyDelete
  24. Lovely! I like how the crispy skin of the chicken looks.. so tempting!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. You did such a great job on roasting the chicken! The skin looks so crispy!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Sigh. This gorgeous photo is almost enough to make me start eating chicken again. I mean if anything could tempt me to it, it's your food!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Don't you just love a good chicken... but I usually remove the skin anyway

    ReplyDelete
  28. Wow! This pandan roasted chicken looks simple 'perfect'! I love to see it and what more 'eat' it. I am surely sold and will make it soon!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I only know pandan chicken as chicken wrapped with pandan leaves and deep-fried! Now, this is new. You have chicken-wrapping-the pandan leaves, in a way. hahah! Bet it is so delicious.

    ReplyDelete
  30. WOW Ju that looks amazing!!!! yes I always pat them like little babies but now I most certainly won't. I must try witht eh pandan in that case...I have a wild unruly pandan bush that i now know what to do with!!!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Pandan is something I've never tried before but it sounds so easy with an amazing taste, I must try it!

    Gorgeous photos!

    ReplyDelete
  32. wow Ju, the chicken looks unbelievably delicious.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Oh my goodness! This chicken looks divine! I love how shiny and crispy it looks. Woah.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Hi Ju, this is the first ... pandan roasted chicken! Haha I think you should patent this before it gets way too popular. I usually just add whatever sauces are available for my roast chicken - don't bother with a recipe at all. Maybe one day I'll post it up. But this is a great looking roast and I can see the crispiness of the skin just by looking at the photo.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I have never heard of pandan roast chicken. I can imagine it will taste and smell really good! Pandan leaves are very expensive in Sydney :(

    ReplyDelete
  36. Such a great idea to use pandan - it's pretty hard to find where I live but if I can make chicken that looks this good then I'll try to find it. Ju, thanks for also being so diligent in trying new recipes. I am so happy to learn about your tip about not drying the chicken first!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Pandan stuffed in the chicken cavity? It must be so flavourful. I have to try that. Thanks for all the roasting tips. The chicken looks so golden and crisp on the outside.....yum

    ReplyDelete
  38. Ju, I always rub the chicken with a little olive oil or butter. The skin is perfectly crispy. Maybe I don't have to do that either...

    I wish I knew what pandan leaves tasted like. I know a little tarragon is amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I can smell the pandan from here,...feel the crispy skin and taste the delicious juicy roasted chicken all from here...imagination from a hungry soul.hehe

    ReplyDelete
  40. Hmmmmm, pandan leaves, I wonder if I can get them in Boston's Chinatown. I'll try next time. I absolutely love it with herb de Provence, salt and pepper, but this sounds very interesting. Nothing better than a perfectly roasted chicken.

    Thanks......Diane

    ReplyDelete
  41. Hi Ju, did u use the oven (bake) function or the grilling function??
    also will the oven has lots of smoke when grilling??

    Regards, Janice..

    ReplyDelete
  42. Thanks for all your lovely comments!

    Janice: BAKE, not grill. There will be lots of oil splattering within the oven, but no smoke. HTH!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Hi Ju,

    when you are baking the chicken, did you open the oven door slightly? Coz when i bought the oven, also Tefal brand last week, the sales lady told me to open the oven door slightly during the baking of chicken process so that the oven won't have smoke.

    Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  44. I had the best pandan roasted chicken with your recipe, and it is the first time roasted food. Thank you ! I need some advise on the cleaning of the oven part..the chicken oil splattered everywhere in my oven and it is so difficult to clean.. Any tips on that?

    ReplyDelete
  45. Hello Ju!

    I followed your recipe and it was great! I felt that the chicken wasn't as brown as yours. The next time, I will increase the temperature. I roasted it at 200 deg C. It took more than an hour. It took about 1.5 hrs. I suspect it has to do with the temperature. When you roasted the chicken, did you have lots of juice? I was expecting a lot but not much. Good enough for the vegetable as I roasted carrots and potatoes together with the chicken. Will roast chicken for Christmas. Thanks for sharing! Appreciate it very much! :>

    Karen

    ReplyDelete