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October 30, 2012
Chicken Pain au Lait
Christopher Palik, Executive Chef – L-EAT Group
(PAESE Ristorante, L-EAT EXPRESS, L-EAT CATERING) –
3 cups of all-purpose flour
To make the bread dough, combine the flour, salt, sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Slowly mix, stop the mixer from time to time and check if larger chunks of butter still exist, if they do break up with your hands. Add the milk and water and continue mixing until the dough begins to come together. At this point, turn off the mixer and switch to the dough hook. Knead the dough with the hook until it comes together in one mass.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and continue to knead it by hand, pushing it away from you with the heel of your hand, folding it over, giving it a quarter turn, and pushing it away again. If the dough is very sticky, add a little more flour to it as you knead. The dough is ready when it feels smooth and slightly springy to the touch. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.
Season the cavity of the chicken with salt and cracked pepper. Clip the chicken wings off at the body and stuff into the cavity with the diced vegetables and herbs and close the cavity by stuffing one half of the lemon in to the opening. Season the outside of the chicken and squeeze over the other half of the lemon, rub the seasoning and lemon juice into the skin of the chicken.
Heat the oven to 350° F and remove the dough from the refrigerator. On a very lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/8-inch thick. Put the chicken on the dough upside down and wrap the dough up and around the bird wrapping it completely and slightly overlapping the dough. If there is an excess of dough trim it to fit. Pinch the seams together to keep them closed. Turn the bird over and put the bird seam side down on a baking sheet.
Brush the dough all over with the beaten egg and sprinkle it lightly with the salt. Bake until the chicken is cooked through and the bread is a golden brown. This should take 1 to 1 1/2 hours, depending on the size of the bird and every half an hour rotate the chicken. The best way to check if it’s done is with a thermometer inserted into the leg of the chicken, it should read 170 F. Let cool for at least an hour and the best way to eat it is to just tear into it.
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