I’m going to let you in on a secret….I’ve never eaten a roasted chicken before!! Ssshh, don’t tell anyone now! Yes, I agree with you, I haven’t lived have I. Well, all that changed last night when I bought a beautiful bird who was calling out my name….”Sukaina, pleeease come cook me and eat me up……now” One of the reasons I haven’t ever attempted to make this meal myself has been because I had always been averse to eating chicken with skin on it. Also, something about looking at a whole chicken with rubbery, speckled skin that put me off. And when I recently read a recipe that talked about ”stuffing the chicken’s bum”, that just conjured up gross images in my head. But then, Nando’s made an entry into my life and well….I’ve never looked back since. Trust me when I say, handling a skinned whole chicken is well worth this meal.
Since this was a new dish for me to tackle, I spent hours looking at recipes online. You’d have never known there are about a million different ways to cook a roast chicken, different herbs to marinate with and different cooking times. My recipe is one which doesn’t take long to prepare (all of 5 minutes actually) so it’s great weeknight meal. It uses herbs that I’m willing to bet are sitting in your pantry right now. The chicken itself was nicely browned on the outside and super juicy on the inside. The trick for a succulent chicken I feel is to keep basting the chicken with its juices every 20 minutes or so. All I can say I’m a convert now for sure. This one is definitely a keeper.
While perusing the many recipes available online, I picked up many hints in order to make the perfect roast chicken so I’m just going to list them for you:
1) Pat the chicken completely dry. This helps the marinade adhere to the chicken better.
2) When placing the chicken on your tray, tuck the wings underneath the chicken. Wings cook the fastest so doing this ensures even cooking.
3) Basting every 20 minutes or so keeps the chicken moist and helps with caramelizing the skin.
4) If you feel you chicken is becoming too brown on the outside but still isn’t cooked on the inside, then cover the tray with foil and continue cooking.
5) Let the chicken rest for 10 to 15 minutes once you remove it from the oven as this helps to redistribute the juices within the chicken, making it more succulent.
If you have any more tips that I’ve missed, don’t forget to tell me in the comments section.
1.1 kg whole chicken, skin on
3 tbs butter, room temperature
2 tsp garlic paste
1.5 tbs Dijon mustard
salt to taste
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp thyme
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp mixed Italian seasoning
2 tsp chili flakes
1 lemon cut into 8 pieces
4 cloves of garlic
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash the chicken well, taking care to wash the inside of the cavity and removing any giblets (whole chickens are delicate so handle gently). Pat the chicken till it’s completely dry. Make the marinade by mixing together butter, garlic paste, mustard, salt, all the dried herbs (I’m sure fresh will taste far superior but I didn’t have any on hand), lemon juice, Italian seasoning and chili flakes. Rub this marinade all over the chicken including under any flaps of skin that lift up and the inside of the cavity. Stuff cavity with the lemon and garlic gloves. Arrange into an oven proof dish and place into the middle rack in the oven. Cook until chicken is done, basting with the released juices every 20 minutes or so (Mine took 1 hour and 20 minutes). Remove from the oven and let it rest for at least 10 minutes before digging in. We served this with roasted potatoes and a green salad drowning in balsmic vinegar.