IThis is one of my failsafe recipes; its so stress free, just a bit of prep then chuck it all in the oven as your guests arrive. You have time for prosecco and a starter before you take it out of the oven and serve.
I lost the page I’d ripped from a magazine – but luckily I found it word for word on someone’s blog. I think it was originally a Sunday Times of London recipe
1.6kg whole chicken
4 cloves garlic, crushed
½ cup brandy
¼ cup olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic extra, sliced
30g mixed dried mushrooms, rehydrated in 1 cup boiling water
500g fresh swiss brown mushrooms
1 cup pearl barley
½ cup dry white wine
1½ cups chicken stock
Place chicken, garlic, brandy, oil and salt & pepper in a bowl and toss to coat. Place in the fridge for 1 hour to marinate.
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Secure chicken legs with kitchen string. Heat a large non-stick fry pan over high heat and cook the chicken, breast side down, for 5 minutes or until golden. Remove chicken from the pan and set aside. Melt the butter in the pan and add the onion, garlic and cook for 5 minutes or until onion has softened.
Strain the dried mushrooms, reserving the liquid. Add the drained mushrooms to the pan with the fresh mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the barley and wine and cook for a further minute until the wine is absorbed. Add the reserved mushroom liquid and stock and stir to combine.
Transfer contents of fry pan to a baking dish and top with the chicken. Cover with foil and roast for 55 minutes. Remove the foil and roast for a further 10 – 15 minutes or until the chicken is golden and cooked through. Serve with the mushroom and pearl barley.