1 bunch eachred heirloom carrots and golf ball carrots, trimmed, scrubbed500 ml(2 cups) chicken stock125 mlgood-quality Sauternes70 gmbutter, coarsely chopped2thyme sprigsJuiceof ½ lemon80 ml(1/3 cup) olive oil2corn-fed boneless chicken thighs, skin on1bunch salsify (see note)½ cupchickweed leaves and shoots (see note)
Place red and golf ball carrots in separate frying pans so they fit snugly in single layers. To each pan add half the stock, half the Sauternes, 15gm butter and a thyme sprig. Cover closely with a round of baking paper, bring to the simmer over medium heat and cook until carrots are half-cooked (10-15 minutes for red carrots; 20-25 minutes for golf ball carrots). Cool to room temperature, remove carrots with a slotted spoon and set aside. Combine cooking liquids and simmer over medium-high heat until syrupy (15-20 minutes). Add half the lemon juice, season to taste, set aside and keep warm.
Preheat oven to 220C. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Season chicken skin to taste with sea salt, place chicken skin-side down in pan, cover each piece with a small piece of baking paper and weight with a saucepan. Cook until skin is golden and crisp and chicken is cooked through (8-10 minutes; turn three-quarters of the way through cooking time). Remove from pan, thickly slice and keep warm.
Spread carrots in a baking tray. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil and 20gm butter in a small saucepan, pour over carrots and season to taste. Roast, stirring occasionally, until browned (5 minutes). Keep warm.
Blanch salsify until just tender (2-3 minutes; see cook’s notes p234), drain and pat dry. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat, add salsify, stir occasionally until browned (1-2 minutes) and season to taste. Melt remaining butter in a saucepan, pour it over the carrots and season to taste with salt. Divide carrots, salsify and chicken among serving plates and drizzle with carrot cooking liquid. Toss chickweed in a bowl with remaining oil and lemon juice, scatter over plates and serve.
Note Salsify and chickweed are available from select greengrocers. If you can’t find chickweed, substitute young sorrel leaves.
This recipe is from the September 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.