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Francis’s Roasted Chicken with Rescoldo Vegetables

Francis Mallmann

Lesson time 32 min

“Cooking with wires and string is magical. Think about it. Dream with me.” – Francis Mallmann The art of roasting the perfect chicken. Francis teaches how to make everything from simple syrup and brine to roasted chicken with pineapple, cabbage, and rescoldo vegetables drizzled with an almond honey lemoneta. Whether you’re hanging the chickens over the open-fire like Francis, or roasting it in your own home oven, you’ll learn how to make this festive and comforting dish that is ideal for the holidays or any special occasion. Join Francis in his quincho, the outdoor kitchen, as he teaches two of his seven live-fire signature cooking techniques: hanging and slowly roasting ingredients over hot embers and the rescoldo method, burning vegetables in ashes.

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[Music] So, Christmas, what is Christmas? Over the years, we’ve been having different Christmases at home, you know we’re sitting outside, and then I set a beautiful white linen for the night. If I’m in a very good mood I would wear a bow tie. And it’s just family, it’s just my children, and that’s beautiful. [Music continues] So this recipe today is related to hanging food I love that. We’ve been doing it for about god, I don’t know how long. I started a bit like today hanging things from a tree with a fire in the bottom I thought that it’s interesting that you see this technique. Obviously, you can do the pineapple, the cabbage, and the chicken in the oven as well, if you want, for a very long time but this has a lot of magic, cooking with a wire or a string Think about it, dream with me All that butter melted through the lemon, and the rosemary as it cooked, so, it will have, this delicious taste inside. And red cabbage that we’re going to serve with it, and all the vegetables, they’re so so delicious. So good. [Music] So the first thing I’m going to do is, the two brines, that we have for the hanging food. I’m going to start with that one. I’m going to add sugar to this little casserole here, and this one will be for the pineapple because I don’t want it to dry as it cooks so, we’re gonna sort of treat her carefully. Now, I’m going to start doing the other brine, I have all the things I need here. And this is done very untidily because the only reason why I want all these vegetables is because of the taste. So, nobody’s going to eat anything of that it’s just to extract the taste [Music] So, basically I just cut the lemons [Music continues] as well as the onions and I start this first because it’s nice that they take a bit of time to cook before we start, sort of enhancing the taste of the flying beasts and of the pineapple. [Knife thudding] The birds are starting to sing so maybe later, it means we’ll have some sun. They’re happy. The carrot, as you know, adds a little bit of sweetness. [Music continues] Some bay leaf. [Francis speaking French] “Écraser de l’ail” Which means just sort of pound it. [Chopping board banging] So I’m gonna come here and I’m going to add a branch of rosemary into it too. Here we go Salt. Quite salty. So taste is developing there very slowly, as the water boils. [Music] I’m going to start preparing now the the chickens. I’m cutting the lemons to put in between the meat and the skin of the chicken so we get some taste there, as well as some rosemary, and the garlic. [Knife thudding] Okay. Okay, so what I’m gonna do without breaking the skin, is getting my fingers in there, into the legs as well, there we go. A little bit of butter [Music continues] So as you look into the table, you see all the ingredients of taste: butter, rosemary, garlic, lemon. Start out with these big rounds of lemon in the back of the beast. Add a little one of butter and a little bit of rosemary. On the other side, I’ll do the same thing lemon, stick of delicious butter, that will melt as it cooks, and some rosemary. Garlic in here. Some butter in the leg, some rosemary, lemon. Here you have my love ready to be tied up. [Music] It is important so it doesn’t fall apart as you cook it. I go first to the back, like that, And I come back here, always pulling. Here. I’ll probably make another another roundup of it, because this is gonna hang so, if it would go into the oven, it could go like that, but since I’m gonna hang it and the thread is going to hold all the weight, then we’ll tie it again. [Music continues] You see how tight it is? So, then as well all the taste, of the things we put inside the butter, and all that sort of stays in there, you don’t want to lose it. So, now I’m going to make the two little wheels to, be able to hang it, you see. It’s like a ring, and I’m going to do a wire. And the thing is that this you can move it, you see? That’s important. And I want to make another one in the back [Music] Very good, the chickens are ready. [Music] Okay, so now we’re going to hang the pineapples and the cabbage. So, what I’m going to do is I’m going to use this guy to make a hole here. [Iron rod thudding] Put a wire inside and then just turn it, a little bit here, and a little bit here, so we can hang it, because we’re going to flip it once, cook it this way, and then the other way. Now we’ll do the pineapples. [Music continues] Beautiful, because it’s very very ripe. I really like it when it’s like this. And we leave the green part on, eh? This is who they are. And it’s very resistant even though during cooking it burns a bit; it’s very nice. [Music] Here we go. Okay I have these for this. The cabbage has more structure and this is very ripe, so a wire would go anywhere would never, even if you make a hole, it wouldn’t go, into the other side. So, everything is ready to be hung. So, here I have my wires. Start out with a chicken. We first cook the bone side, so, the heat that goes through the bones, cooks nicely the chicken all the way through. So, we’re going to cook it for four hours, three hours it will be like this. And it makes it crispy. And then, at the last moment, we put the breasts and the legs down to get a nice roast but it’s almost cooked already. If some of these red parts of the cabbage, it burns a bit; it does, you just peel it, like you know, like an orange, you take, two or three layers of it and you stay, with a core that will be beautiful. You guys are home trying to learn how to do this, you have to understand that this is a very special technique that I love, It’s very slow, it’s a lot of work, It’s a craft of all the details of tying the wires, and whatnot as well, timing, learning about fire, and reading what’s happening under this place. You can do it under a tree, don’t burn the tree, the garden and the house. But you know be careful, fire is something very beautiful, but we have to be very, very respectful. It doesn’t have to be perfect the first time, But you should try it. It’s fun, you know. Maybe you say again, god, I live in New York, or in Berlin, or in Paris in a flat, how can I do that so that, yeah, it’s impossible. But you can put all these things in the oven. So, ideally, what I would do, you put in the cabbages and the pineapples in different trays because they have different tastes. You don’t need to tie them or nothing, and then you roast them at medium-high temperature and you put only to the pineapple some syrup once in a while and then you will see that they start getting roasted and crunchy you can use very lightly the top burner that will give them color as well so, but you have to sit and be there. That will be about four hours, I think and then the chickens will be in the oven you can get a tray, and you put a rack in the bottom so, when they start dripping, they’re not constantly soaking in the burnt fat. That’s very important. The pan will hold all the drippings that will burn obviously in four hours and they won’t give a bitter taste to your chicken. In the oven, you don’t flip it; you just cook it as it is now breast up, very slowly, don’t go in hot as many recipes say. And be calm. Take your time. So, send me some photographs of this. [Francis laughs] [Music] This, for me, is a perfect day, being in the island in Patagonia, you know, seeing all this, I have one two three four fires there I have food hanging, I have a boiling casserole, and I have, the mother fire, that’s what I wanted to talk about. The fire in the back, the one that is, against the wall, that’s the mother fire and it’s the fire that feeds all the rest of the fires when necessary. So, we have all the fires going, plus a fire that is not cooking anything. It’s just there for added heat, if we need it, fast. So, something happens in one fire, we take with a shovel some fire from there to the other. So, we heighten up a bit the chickens, they’re too low. That’s why I like to be very nearby everything. Now we got hot, and now I want to slow them down a bit, you see, there. [Music] I’m going to put a little bit of syrup to the pineapples. And we can check them to see them all the time. It’s nice. Beautiful. [Music] So, I’m going to start putting, the vegetables in the recoldo, we have beets, different types of onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and butternut squash. So, I just place them like this, and put coals around it, so they cook slowly. This is an ancient way of cooking. Place the buttered squash here, and this guy put it there. So, we’ll be rotating them constantly, every half an hour or so, until they’re completely cooked. You have to keep in mind that in the pumpkins, the most difficult part to cook pumpkins the most difficult part to cook, is this, the asses. That’s why I put the first ass front wise so it starts heating up and then we’re going to move it out, and use the other one. [Music continues] Here we have the chickens that have been, cooking for quite a while now they’re almost ready, and they’ve been going up and down, they go up when the fire starts with flames, and when the flower starts to die, it’s nice to take it down a little bit because they take very nicely that small heat now I’m going to add this delicious brine that we did. [Fire sizzling] It has the salt as you remember, the onions, the carrots, the lemons, the bay leaf. Every half an hour, we put some brine on a little bit, it drinks it takes the salt, it’s good Ah! Look at that, delicious. Well, I’m gonna do the sauce, the almond lemoneta. I will use it for the chicken, so, when you cut the chicken, you’re gonna put a bit of that on the chicken, It’s very delicious, the parsley, the honey. You could even add something a bit spicy if you would like. So, I have the almonds here, peel on, and I’m going to put them in the plancha, it’s very low, to toast a bit. [plancha sizzling] Perfect. Now I’m going to put lemon rind in the bowl. Only the yellow part, eh? The very first cut of the lemon rind. [Music] So, here we go. Now I’m going to add a little bit of this delicious honey Jose [Speaking Spanish] There it is -Yes, chef A spoonful. And now I’m gonna put, some parsley in. [Music] Now I add the lemon juice. I do it on top of the parsley so I can get the seeds out [Music continues] I put some olive oil. You can use it for meat, for fish, it’s very delicious on a fish, on a grilled fish, and vegetables too, obviously yes. I’m gonna check on my almonds. I’m gonna get the almonds out, [Spatulas clattering] [Knife thudding] So, we add this now to the almond lemoneta. Mix it. [Music] So, I’m going to take off one of the chickens. [Music continues] Place it here. Look at that, oh, so delicious. My darling chicken. See how that garlic is there oh my god, so delicious. Start up putting half of that there. Cabbage there. Oh, so good. The pineapple, you can let it rest. I like to serve it cold. Sometimes, we use it for dessert, with mascarpone with ice cream but it’s very delicious with the chicken too. This is the English pumpkin. And the idea of this is that you eat everything with a peel on, you see how delicious it is. So, the onions I will put here, a bit of the white one. a little bit of the red one. Sweet potato. This remember had no salt, eh? Because they cooked on their own. So, I’m going to salt now. And these I’m going to explode them, a bit you see, so they would drink a little bit of olive oil. [Music] So, this is our Christmas, night dinner. The chicken, and fire, and heat, and then all our vegetables, the pineapple, the fruit with the cabbage, then we have two onions, the white ones and the red ones. We have the English pumpkin, that’s how we call them here. We have the boniato, which is a sweet potato. We have the beets, and finally the white potato. and I’m still missing one. Ha! I forgot, which is this, delicious pumpkin the butternut squash. You go, put it there, little bit of salt, a little bit of olive oil, Merry Christmas. [Music continues]

About the Instructor

Francis Mallmann, the pioneer of open-fire cooking, is South America’s most famous chef and is known for his rustic open-fire cooking style in wild and remote locations. Join the James Beard award-winning author and Chef’s Table star as he brings you on a journey into his kitchen in the Patagonian wild where he teaches you how to master the grill and his Argentine-style barbecue.

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