The main event
With any winter meal a substantial, hearty main is the key. A main that warms the heart and soul, food that is rich and comforting. After watching the amazing array of lanterns make their way along the procession route, we rushed back home through the cold night, anticipating the feast that would greet us once we reached the warmth inside. Opening the door we were greeted by the fragrant smell of beautifully roasted chicken and slow braised venison shanks.
The chickens slowly turning on the rotisserie developing a wonderfully crunchy skin deeply coloured by the sumac rub.
The venison meat falling from its shank, tender and rich swimming in a pool of glossy red wine sauce subtly flavoured by juniper berries.
The mains are matched up with a simple winter salad of mixed leaves, thinly sliced pears and walnuts. Topped with shavings of parmesan and smothered in balsamic dressing.
2 free-range chickens 1.3kg each
Zest of 2 lemons
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1tbsp Fresh chopped thyme
1tbsp Fresh chopped rosemary
Olive oil to make paste
1 Sprig of rosemary
¼ cup Kalamata olives
Mix together the sumac, zest, cayenne, chopped thyme and rosemary in a small bowl. Add oil slowly, until you form a paste.
¼ the zested lemons, stuff the lemons along with the spring of rosemary and olives into the cavity of each chicken.
Truss the chickens, and rub the entire skin with the sumac paste. Place the chickens on the spit, or if you do not have a rotisserie, just place in a roasting pan.
Cook the birds until golden and crispy on the outside and juices run clear when skewered, approximately 1hour 20min at 200ºC.