Recipe for roast chicken.
Roast chicken is quite frankly the saviour of the dinner party circuit and after much practice I truly believe I may have cracked it. The main key to a good roast chicken is firstly that you purchase good meat. Although a cheap chicken can be cooked well and remain succulent, it does not have the same full flavour as say a corn fed organic one. Personally if I am cooking for friends or family, I am happy to make the sixteen mile round trip to my local farm shop to buy a good free range organic bird.
Now before I begin giving you my recipe please understand that the herbs, garlic and citrus fruit I use can be substituted for your needs and personal tastes it is merely the cooking tips and way the bird is actually cooked that make the difference here. I will also not cover vegetables to accompany the chicken as these are a very personal thing when it comes to roast chicken; however, roast potatoes are best cooked in with the chicken as they soak up the residue flavours from the bird.
Whole large chicken (Without giblets).
2 Cloves of garlic.
1 Onion quartered.
1 Heaped tbsp Butter.
2 tsp Dried oregano.
1. Pre-heat oven to 180C Fan assisted.
2. Use approximately half of the butter to massage over the skin of your chicken, rubbing it well in.
3. At the thin end of the fillets, usually where the legs are bound together, you will find you can just lift the breast skin, place your buttered fingers under the skin so that you separate it from the breast and the breast is buttered both above and below the skin. This will ensure crispness.
4. Use the rest of the butter to coat your onion quarters and sprinkle with 1 tsp of your oregano.
5. Smash the garlic with a tenderising hammer or the side of your knife to split the cloves.
6. Prick your half lemon all over so as it heats it releases its juice.
7. Place two quarters of your onion into the cavity of your bird.
8. Then add the garlic and lemon.
9. Then seal off the cavity with your final two quarters of onion.
10. Sprinkle the remaining oregano onto the skin of the chicken and grind some black pepper over it too. (This does not add loads of flavour but looks pretty later.)
11. Wrap the chicken in tin foil and place breast down in your roasting tin.
Time to cook the chicken and you will need to cook the chicken for 20 minutes per 500g plus twenty minutes. Leave the chicken breast side down for half the cooking time and only unwrap the chicken for the last 20-30 minutes (depending on how good your oven is) to brown and crisp the skin. Cooking the chicken in this way allows the juices from your onion, garlic and lemon to fall into the breast and keep the chicken super succulent. Once your chicken is cooked – double check this by placing a fork into the bird in a few place. If the fats released are clear the chicken is done – leave to stand for a good ten minutes and then carve and serve.
If you would like my opinion a simple serving suggestion is some green beans, corn and roast potatoes make a beautiful meal on a winter’s afternoon. However, in summer I would prefer some salad and boiled skin on new potatoes. I really hope you enjoy my recipe and as always, happy eating!