Chef and cookbook author James Peterson developed this simple version of the French classic poulet demi deuil, or chicken in half mourning.
- 1 3½ lb. chicken, rinsed and dried
- ¾ oz. black truffles, sliced into thin discs
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and halved lengthwise
- 2 tbsp. butter, softened
- 1 tbsp. rainwater madeira
- 1 tsp. cognac
Working from the neck opening with your fingers, gently pry chicken skin away from as much of the breast and legs as you can without tearing it. Slip truffle slices under skin in a single layer, covering as much flesh as possible. Truss chicken, wrap loosely in plastic, and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 400°. Rub chicken with salt and pepper. Rub large piece of foil with garlic and then butter. Pour madeira and cognac into chicken cavity and on foil. Place chicken on foil and wrap into a neat, tightly sealed package. Bake on a baking sheet for 1 hour (10 minutes longer for a large chicken). Place package on a serving platter and open at the table to allow everyone to enjoy the fragrant steam. Serve with buttered egg noodles and good crusty bread.