How To Make Ella Risbridger’s Midnight Chicken
Perhaps the ultimate roast chicken...
17 January 2019
All Credits: PA
“There are lots of ways to start a story, but this one begins with a chicken. It was the first story I ever wrote about food, and it begins with a chicken in a cloth bag hanging on the back of a kitchen chair. It was dark outside, and I was lying on the hall floor, looking at the chicken through the door, and looking at the rust in the door hinges, and wondering if I was ever going to get up,” explains Ella Risbridger, author of new cookbook Midnight Chicken (named after this very recipe).
“Perhaps, I thought, lying on the hall floor, I will just stay on the hall floor forever, and sink through the laminate, and into the concrete, and down into the earth. But this is a hopeful story. It’s the story of how I got up off the floor. It’s also the story of how to roast a chicken, and how to eat it. This is a story of eating things, which is, if you think about it, the story of being alive. More importantly, this is a story about wanting to be alive.
“Eventually the Tall Man came home, and helped me up. ‘Come on,’ he said, and we went into the kitchen together, and I made this, late at night, and we ate it at midnight, with wine, and bread, and our fingers, sopping up the garlicky juices from the baking tray, sucking the bones.
“So this story begins with a chicken. This is the best roast chicken you’ll ever have, and I think it might just be perfect.”
(Serves 2, with leftovers for soup and salad and stock and sandwiches)
Chicken, mine was 1.6kg
Garlic, about 8 cloves, or as many as you can muster
Fresh chillies, 2 (or 3 if you don’t have chilli salt)
Mustard, the grainy sort
Chilli salt (or sea salt)
Olive oil (perhaps)
Ginger, a nub about the size of your thumb
Honey, about a spoonful