I remember interviewing Pascal Barbot of the pocket-sized restaurant l’Astrance, asking him questions as we sat over a coffee. We talked about his past, his influences, and how he would characterize his food. “It’s all based on dairy, really,” he said. Stop to think of it, and I realized so much of it was, from foamy milk on a beautiful appetizer, to the flavorful surprise underneath the chicken here.
The Auvergne, a Dairy Region
Well, it makes sense. Chef Barbot grew up in the Auvergne, a rough and ready region that claims, among other things, the gorgeous cheddar-like Cantal cheese, Roquefort, Laguiole and a host of other dairy delicacies. This recipe is based on his, and every time I make it or teach it, I send a silent thanks his way. Like all of his food, it’s first and foremost delicious beyond measure, but it’s surprising, and it’s simple. Those are all hallmarks that I look for when co-opting a recipe to share with you.
I recommend the finest chicken you can get, preferably from a local farm. I’ll give you two variations for flavoring the chicken, and then it’s all up to you!
Two Ways of Adding the Flavor to the Chicken
You’ll note in the recipe that you mince lime zest and ginger then rub that under the skin of the chicken. A more refined version is to squeeze minced ginger in cheesecloth and extract just the juice. Rub the juice on the meat of the chicken, then the minced lime zest. You’ll get less ginger zing, but plenty of ginger flavor.