Spice: a recipe for fragrant pot-roast chicken
If you want good chicken, get the knife out
During the Christmas season, sales of Coca-Cola drop by as much as 75% in Sweden. Considering the reverse trend the drink enjoys elsewhere across the world, this strikes as quite odd. But that's because, unlike Sweden, the rest of the world doesn't have Julmust. Julmust is not unlike coke in style but it's available only at Christmas and Easter (at which time it's called påskmust). The Swedes love it.
But much like coriander, salty liquorice and food blogs that waffle endlessly before getting to the recipe, Julmust is a deeply acquired taste. My first impression of it was of drinking a Captain Morgan's and coke left out overnight. It has a pungent chorus of spice flavourings that I can't really put my finger on. More malty than coke and complex than root beer. Now I’m in Finland, and don’t see Julmust on the shelves anymore, I’ve really come to miss it. Seeing the drink's gaudy red-topped bottles on the shelves in the early days of December was a reminder my favourite time of year had arrived. Chrsitmas.
This time of the year is when I really enjoy cooking with cinnamon, star anise and cloves. The musky, deep, even haunting aromas are the perfect equivalent to the fresh, vibrancy of summer's distant herbs. Such spices are never better than when braised slowly with a healthy slab of chuck steak. But for something a little lighter, as is so often needed at this time of year, a chicken, preferably an older, tougher specimen if available from your butcher, is perfect as well.
This turns us to the second aspect of the recipe we have in question: the cooking of a perfect chicken. On a trip back to England recently, I had the most wonderful lunch with a group of friends. It's always a pleasure to be cooked for by people simply passionate about food and I know of few people as passionate about food as this friend in question. The food was lovely of course, but the topic of cooking poultry perfectly did come up.
The method for cooking this very Christmassy, spiced pot-roast chicken, for me at least, creates the most perfect roast chicken you will ever eat.
Spiced pot-roast chicken
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