The quality of the chicken is important here - look for a free-range bird with good colour in the meat for best flavour. The beurre noisette, or brown butter dressing, is thicker than an oil-based vinaigrette, and may congeal a little in cooler weather; simply warm it in a bowl placed over hot water.
- 1 chicken (1.4kg)
- 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 5 baby beetroot
- 5 baby golden beetroot, trimmed
- 600 gm baby kipfler potatoes, scrubbed
- ½ cup (loosely packed) mixed dill and mint
- 2 cups mâche leaves
- Ground piment d’Espelette, to serve (see note)
Beurre noisette dressing
- 100 gm chilled butter, diced
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 golden shallot, finely chopped
- 80 ml verjuice
- 1Preheat oven to 200C. Rinse chicken inside and out, then pat dry with paper towels and place in a roasting pan. Season well, rub skin with olive oil and roast until chicken is golden and juices run clear when thigh is pierced with a skewer (about 1 hour). Cool to room temperature, then remove leg meat, coarsely break up and place in a bowl. Remove breast meat from bones, thickly slice and add to leg meat (reserve bones for stock).
- 2Meanwhile, place beetroot in a large roasting pan with 60ml water, drizzle with oil, season to taste, cover with foil and roast, shaking pan occasionally, until tender (20-30 minutes). When cool enough to handle, peel and halve.
- 3Cook potatoes in boiling salted water until nearly tender (8 minutes), then turn off heat and stand in water to continue cooking until tender (5 minutes). Drain and halve.
- 4For beurre noisette dressing, cook butter in a saucepan over high heat until foaming and nut-brown (4-5 minutes). Meanwhile, bring vinegar and shallot to the boil in a small saucepan and reduce by half (3-5 minutes). Add to butter, transfer to a blender, add verjuice and good pinches of salt and pepper, and blend until smooth. Check seasoning and set aside.
- 5Combine beetroot and potatoes in a bowl, dress with beurre noisette dressing and toss to combine. Serve topped with sliced chicken, herbs and mâche leaves, drizzled with beurre noisette dressing and seasoned with a pinch of piment d’Espelette to taste.
Piment d’Espelette, a French dried flaked chilli, is available from herbies.com.au. Drink suggestion by Max Allen
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