This is the first Roast Chicken recipe. I tend to evolve these over time, so it’ll probably not be the last.

You’ll need:

A Chicken – Handy when you’re cooking roast chicken.
Butter
Salt – Crystals for preference, ordinary salt otherwise.
A lemon
Thyme

About an hour and a half. Heat the oven to 200oc

So, there are three things that make Chicken taste of non-generic things. The first is traditionally steam (makes it juicy, but basically boils the taste out like overdone vegatables), then there’s the dry (tastes more, but arrid and less enjoyable to eat) and there’s the stuffing, which affects the taste and balances the above.

So, Steam/Dry/Stuffing.

Going directly from the fridge to the oven keeps it moist, which gives you a little too much steam, so pat the outer skin down with some kitchen towel and dry out the skin a bit. If we dry out the skin completely, you’ll get a lovely crisp brown outer skin which will also help hold the moisture and flavour inside.

First, though, we need to do a bit with the stuffing. Filling the cavity of the chicken keeps the moisture in, and helps with the steam. Net result, when you add in the boiled chicken effect as above, is to make the chicken taste pretty much entirely of whatever the stuffing is. You can use packeted Paxo for this – directions as on the package – or this, which is a really easy way to make lemon chicken:

  1. Take a lemon.
  2. Slice it horizontally, but only half way.
  3. Stab it a few times at random places around the outside.
  4. Put a sprig of fresh thyme, or a half teaspoon of dried thyme, in the slit bit
  5. Stuff it up the chicken.

Now, on the outside, butter the chicken like a bit of toast. If you don’t mind getting your hands greasy, rub the butter in with your fingers. About a tablespoon or two should be enough. Over that, add a couple of tablespoons of salt, again rubbed in well, and bung it in the oven for a while.

“A while” is one of those unhelpful definitions. The instructions on the packet (20 minutes + 20 minutes per 500g) are good. Traditionally you poke it with a skewer and see if the juices run clear.

Bonus Edition: How to carve a chicken:

Leave it to rest for a little while after taking it out of the oven. This makes it easier to carve, taste better and generally is a good idea.

Make a horizontal cut just above the leg bone down as far as you can go.

Cut slices from the spine down to the horizontal cut.

Lift them off.

Once you’ve run out of breast, rip it apart as best you can. Keep the folded, spindled and mutilated carcass for stock (which, as it happens, is the next entry in the Omnyomcomicon)

{23 Aug 2011} {Tags: , , , }