My Alcoholic Kitchen: Gin and Tonic Chicken

So I was making roast chicken the other day and I was about to shove a sliced lemon up the chicken’s bum, when two thoughts occured to me. The first was “why am I always shoving things up chickens’ bums?” And the second was “I should save some of this lemon and make a G&T.”

You know how sometime, great ideas come from combining two things together? Well that’s what happened in my brain: two thoughts collided and a new idea was created: “I should shove a G&T up a chicken’s bum.”

Inception.

Regular reader may notice a developing theme of culinary chicken sodomy. Now, the lesson I learned from the Chickenosaurus Rex was that canning chicken isn’t really that effective. So I figured this time, instead of a can, I’d use a roasting bag. It essentially does the same thing: trap the liquid in with the meat.

Now if I wanted to do this legit, I’d get all the ingredients of gin: juniper, cinnamon, cucumber, cloves, citrus peel and whatever else, along with some quinine and whatever the hell else is in tonic and stuff the chicken with them. Or, I could just stuff the chicken with lemon, pour in enough gin to get a sailor tipsy, and seal it off. So that’s what I did.

Take this lot.

Take this lot.

Season your chicken with oil, salt and pepper. Stuff some lemon in.

Stuff it in your chicken chicken, seasoned with oil, salt and pepper.

IMG_20131110_164841

Pour in your gin!

And a little more of each in the bag. That beastie is ready to roast!

And a little more of each in the bag. That beastie is ready to roast!

As you can see, I used Lighthouse gin. Partly because I like to cook with really good ingredients, but also because that’s what I had on hand. I could have gone a got a bottle of cheap stuff, but then I’d have been stuck with a lot of gin I wasn’t too keen on drinking anyway. You may also notice that I didn’t bother with tonic. I didn’t really think that was going to add anything to the dish, and I’d rather drink it with ice, lemon and gin anyway.

Finished product:

Food photography isn't really my thing.

Food photography isn’t really my thing.

So how’d it turn out? The chicken was falling-apart-tender and super zesty. I didn’t really get much gin flavour from it, but it was very nice none the less. I suspect I’d have needed to drown the bird in a sea of gin to get a proper result.1 I also made gravy with the juice from inside the bag and a little more gin. It came out super light, and needed a fair amount of soy to give it richness. It was however, very pleasantly zesty and did have a little gin flavour to it.

Post-mortem: a moderate success. Roasting bags are good if you want to make a very succulent roast, but I think I prefer open roasting in general. You get more caramelisation on the outside of the meat and in the bottom of the pan. This makes better gravy and you can also roast the veggies in the meat juices. I would probably consider using a bag if I was going to roast a turkey, which can be quite dry.

Still, a worthy experiment.


1. Just like your mum on Friday night.
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