Sunday, 23 October 2011

simply roast chicken


another glorious Sunday, another rather glorious roast and for me perhaps the most classic of all Sunday roasts, the humble roast chicken... you may be wondering why i'd bother posting a recipe for roast chicken, surely its as simple as bunging it in a hot oven and letting it do its thing and yes, it really is... but over the years it's the method that i've developed for a perfect roast that i'm going to share with you today...

The Chicken
i'm sure I really don't need to tell you but come on now and do us all a favour and buy a decent free-range chicken

Prepping and Dressing
just a couple of little things to help improve the crispy-ness of the skin and final finish of the chicken...

... firstly boil the kettle and whilst you're waiting for it to boil roughly chop some celery, carrots and onions... in my opinion these are the three vegetables that enhance the chicken the best... I used teeny little globe onions today, which caramelised beautifully, really enhancing the final gravy...

... once the kettle is boiled, place the chicken in the sink and carefully pour the boiling water over the chicken, it does something to the skin... not sure what but it works every time.

...pop the chick into the roasting pan, letting it sit, breast side up, on top of some of the chopped veg... place some of the onion into the middle of the chicken along with some rosemary...

...next, gently work your fingers between the skin and the breast, slathering plenty of butter in there as you go, I also place an un-peeled garlic clove in there too...

... today I have also added some roughly chopped new potatoes to the dish and thrown in a whole garlic's worth of garlic cloves... plenty of salt and pepper too

look at those potatoes!

Roasting
I used to whack the heat up and just roast the bugger out of it but after doing Gwyneth's 10 Hour Roast Chicken and knowing how amazingly well that came out I thought a quicker version could work well...

... heat the oven to about 160c and roast the chicken breast side up for 40 mins, then carefully turn the chicken over, pour on a little water if it's looking dry and roast again for another 40 minutes...

... now turn up the heat to 190 or even 200, turn the chicken back onto it's back and roast for another 10 minutes or until gloriously golden and crispy...

Eating
... drain the gravy off and then let the chicken sit for a good 10 minutes before you tear into it, I cover it with a little foil and a tea-towel whilst I steam my veg... I promise you'll be in roast chicken heaven!

the chicken that keeps on giving...
... if you're anything like me you'll have cooked an extra large chicken so that you'll have glorious left-overs... you may even have roasted two chickens because, let's face it, the oven is on anyway...

... the left-over possibilities are endless and I wont bore you with them now but I insist you keep some of the wonderful chicken juices and carcass to make a soup... I use the chicken juices to saute an onion, then add the carcass, vegetable stock, another roughy chopped carrot and a teaspoon full of whole black peppercorns and simmer it for 30 mins or so for an intensely chicken soup...

eat and of course, enjoy!

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