To break down the chicken:
Remove the wishbone from the chicken - to do this scrape a knife down each side of the breast at the neck opening to reveal and separate the wishbone.
Remove the legs from the chicken - to do this, lay the chicken on a chopping board with the legs towards you. Separate the thigh bone from its socket, by pressing it down against the board - thigh bone should pop out. Run a knife between the dislodged joint and the carcass cutting away any connecting meat or skin. Once the legs are removed cut through the backbone and take off the tail end of the carcass - this is called the crown of the chicken.
Separate the thigh and drum stick - to do this, lay the whole leg skin side up on a chopping board. Lay it with the thigh on one side and the drum on the other (left to right). It should almost resemble a boomerang. Cut through the curve where the two pieces meet.
Remove the wings from the chicken - to do this, pull the wing out and cut on an angle close to the breast where the wings attach.
To cook the chicken:
Firstly infuse the stock. Peel and chop all the vegetables and place in a large heated pan with a little oil. Once soft, add the chicken stock, herbs and spices and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat and allow the stock to cool and infuse. Once cool, place the chicken legs in the stock followed by the crown. Top the pot up with enough water to cover the crown. Place pot on the heat and bring the stock up to the boil. Once it reaches the boil turn off and allow the chicken to cool.
Pre heat an oven to 180oC. Remove the chicken from the stock, and put stock aside. Pat the meat dry before the next stage.
Heat a fry pan with a little oil. Season and lightly colour the skin of the thigh and drums and place on a roasting tray. Season the chicken crown, inside and out, and place it on one breast in the pan until the skin is golden then turn over and repeat on the other side. Place on the roasting tray with the leg pieces and roast in the oven for 10 minutes.
For the chicken sauce:
Remove the rosemary from the reserved chicken stock. Bring the stock to the boil and reduce until it has halved in volume. Strain the vegetables from the stock then return to a pan to reduce until you have approximately 500ml of stock remaining.
Salt the vegetables and stand for 20 minutes, rinse them and then drain well. Bring the vinegar to a boil and blanch the vegetables separately until tender. Reserve half of the cauliflower, picking the florets to use as a garnish. Try to keep around five small florets per person. Strain the vinegar, bring it to a boil and add the cornflour. Cook out for around 5 minutes. Combine all the ingredients and blend in a liquidiser until smooth. Pass through a fine strainer and pour the gel into a small bottle.
Kumara and orange puree:
Place all in a pot and bring to the boil, turn down the heat and cook until the kumara is tender and almost all of the liquid has evaporated. Place mixture in a food processor and blend until smooth. Season with a pinch of salt and white pepper. Place the mix in a piping bag and keep warm until ready to serve.
Kumara and orange salad:
Blanch the kumara in boiling salted water for around 6 minutes or until tender. Drain and dry. Fry with a little bit of oil until the kumara is golden and crispy. Season and keep warm. Peel and segment the orange and cut the segments in half, mix together with the kumara and watercress just before you need it.
Pipe the kumara puree onto the plate, swinging the bag from left to right as you pipe in a line. Place a small pile of the kumara and orange salad on the plate. Carefully cut the chicken breast off the crown in one piece and then carefully cut the breast in half length ways. Place the chicken on the salad. Squeeze dots of the piccalilli gel around the plate and garnish with the reserved cauliflower florets.
Spoon some of the chicken sauce over the breast and around the plate. Place the cooked thigh and leg meat on a plate in the centre of the table for people to share.
Perfect wine match: 2014 Peregrine Chardonnay, Central Otago
Award-winning Cobar Restaurant Head Chef Ryan Tattersall and wife Hannah have created a relaxed yet fine-dining haven in the heart of Days Bay, one of Wellington’s favourite getaways.