One of my favourite ingredients I love using when cooking, is wine. I find that wine, when not put too much and allowed to boil down it concentrates the flavours of the dish, especially when used in marinades. The acid in it helps to tenderise the meat and adds a lot of flavour. A wine based marinade also helps to keep the meat succulent while it cooks. Because this dish was French inspired, I added verjuice in the marinade believing that, including extra acidity to the wine will help tenderise the meat a bit more and also stabilise the sweetness of the wine.
If you’ve never used verjuice before; it is categorised with lemon juice. However, verjuice adds a gentle tartness to dishes to complement and not overpower. This is because verjuice’s tartness is derived from the same acid found in wines hence when mixed with it in cooking magic happens. So, if you are looking for a marinade tenderiser that is not citric acid (as lemon juice is), I recommend verjuice. Below is my take on the wine French chicken, and I hope you will enjoy it.
3 ¼Chicken Pieces or 6 Pieces
175ml Red Wine
30ml Olive Oil
40ml Tomato Paste
Few Thyme springs, about 4 to 6
1 Teaspoon Chimichurri Spice
½Teaspoon Sweet Paprika
1 ½Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
2 Teaspoons Flour
2 to 3 Medium French Shallots
6 to 8 Baby Carrots
4 Small Garlic Cloves (or 2 big cloves)
- In a measuring jug, pour wine, verjuice, water then add flour, honey, tomato paste, 15ml oil, chimichurri, paprika, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper, stir together until everything is mixed well.
- Roughly slicethe garlic, peel and cut 1 shallot 3 times, set aside.
- Season the chicken pieces with the remainingsalt, paprika and pepper, drizzle with 15ml oil then rub it.
- Pour the marinade in a large zipper bag. Placethe meat inside thebag with the marinade. Add the cut shallot(s), thyme and garlic, seal and shake the bag to make sure all the meatpieces are Place the bag in the fridge and letthe meat marinate for 2 to 6 hours (mine marinated for 6 hours).
- Take the meat out of the fridge to let it come to room temperature for at least an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 200°
- Meanwhile, peel and cut the remaining shallot 3 times, rinse the Place in a large baking pan (I used a 37cm enamel baking pan).
- Remove the meatfrom the zipper bagand arrange the pieces in the pan in between the veggies. The chicken should be skin side up. Pour the rest of the marinade (with the shallots) over the chicken.
- Cover thebaking panwithfoil and roast in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, baste the chicken with the sauce. Then roast again without the foil for about 20 to 30 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, check if the skin is a bit crisp, if yes, roastingis done. Otherwise roast for 10 more minutes.
- Baste again, and serve with any side you like.