We've enlisted the help of Pete Baxter from Hope St Radio to show us his favourite way of cooking the beautiful chickens of Milking Yard Farm! He's shared with us a guide, more than a recipe, wanting to accentuate the purity of this revered bird and found the best way to do it was with a treatment of salt and time. It resulted with the chicken having the most incredible & complex flavour, almost liked aged Parmesan - earthy and bright at the same time.
1x Milking Yard Chicken
Salt Stock -carrot, onion, celery, leek, bay leaves, star anise
800g sebago potatoes
Teaspoon fresh Tarragon
Half a Lemon
Half a teaspoon Honey
Tablespoon or so olive oil
Remove head and feet from chicken and place in a stock pot. Trim the nails from the feet. Remove the spine from the chicken by cutting along each side. Add to the stock pot.
Add the vegetables to the stock pot and cover with water. Bring to a simmer and gently cook uncovered for 4-6 hours. It should reduce to around 500ml of liquid. Strain and pop in the fridge.
Flip the chicken body over to skin side up and press down to flatten. Salt the chicken with a fine sea salt, making sure to cover the entire surface. It will take about one or two tablespoons per side.
Place the chicken on a rack and leave uncovered in the fridge for 24-36 hours. This method is called a dry brine.
Wash and peel the potatoes. Cut into thickish rounds. Rinse in cold water then boil until just softened, about 15/20min. Let them steam dry completely in a colander.
Preheat oven as hot as it will go. Place the potatoes on a roasting tray with olive oil and position the chicken on a wire rack above them. Brush the chicken generously with clarified butter.
Place in the oven for approximately 45min or until it reaches an internal temperature of 70 degrees Celsius. Flip the potatoes halfway through the cook.
While the chicken is cooking make the salad. Pod the broadbeans and blanch for one minute in well salted water. Shell and place in a bowl.
Snap the Woody ends from the asparagus. In the same water blanch the asparagus around 30 seconds. Cut into rounds up to the top, keeping the tips in tact.
Add to broadbeans. Finely cut mint and parsley and add to the bowl. Fennel tops are good to add as well if you have any handy.
For the dressing add all ingredients other than the olive oil and combine. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking to emulsify. Set dressing aside until serving.
Remove the chicken from the oven and let rest uncovered around 15min. Remove the potatoes from the roasting tray and keep warm.
Place the roasting tray over medium heat and deglaze with around half a cup of your stock. Scrape up all the brown sticky bits from the tray and whisk with the stock to emulsify your pan sauce. Taste for seasoning. Remove from the heat and whisk in a table spoon of butter.
Carve the chicken however you like. I usually cut into six pieces by removing the Maryland’s then cutting each breast into two.
To serve place some of the potato rounds on a plate and top with chicken. Spoon a little pan sauce over the top and a side of the asparagus and broadbean salad.