ALL-NATURAL CHICKEN COOKED IN A POT WITH HAY SAUCE

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BOULEY – Chef David Bouley

CHICKEN
One 4 to 4 1/2 pound chicken
1 tablespoon sea salt
2 teaspoons fresh ground white pepper
3 handfuls clover and/or alfalfa hay (from a local farmer or farm supply store)
1 small bunch fresh lavender
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1/2 pound day-old bread dough (ask the local baker or pick up fresh pizza dough)

METHOD
Preheat a convection oven to 275°F with the fan on medium- high. If using a conventional oven set to 300°F. Liberally season the chicken with salt and white pepper and tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Place the hay and lavender in a
pile in the bottom of an oven safe pot with tight fitting lid, such as a dutch oven. Make a snake with the bread dough and wrap around the lip of the pot, leaving most of the dough hanging off the rim. Place two 2-tablespoon pads of butter on top of the hay; set the chicken on the hay breast-side up and place the remaining butter on top of the chicken. Press the lid down onto the bread- Dough rim until the sound of air releasing is heard. Pull the over-hanging dough up around the pot lid and press to seal. Place in pre-heated oven and cook 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until internal temperature is 155°F. Rest 30 minutes, carrying over to 165°F.

HAY SAUCE
16 ounces reduced chicken stock (one quart low sodium stock reduced by half)
1 each small sprig of thyme
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon kuzu powder or arrow root powder

METHOD
Remove meat from chicken and set aside. cut up the bones and carcass with scissors or a cleaver, ensuring the actual bone is cut to release the marrow. Return the bones to the pot with the hay and cooking juices. Place on burner on medium heat, pour in reduced chicken stock, whole thyme sprig and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook 20 minutes. Strain. Season with salt and pepper. Return to a boil, skim off the fat. Blend with an immersion blender and thicken with kuzo or arrowroot powder.

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