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Roast chicken dinner for the family! There’s nothing quite like a full roast at the dining table… and no, Nandos and Kenny Rogers do not count. Roasting a whole chicken (or just the thighs as I will show later on in this post) is actually easier than one would think.
Ingredients (for just 1 roast chicken, you can double it if your family is as greedy as mine)
- 1.7kg whole chicken
- 25g salted butter, softened
- 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary (or whichever herbs you prefer)
- 1 tsp chopped fresh thmye
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 medium white onion
- 1 stalk of celery of around 10 inches, chopped into large sections (optional)
- 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- black pepper
In a small bowl, combine the butter, chopped thyme, rosemary and garlic to form the compound herb butter.
To prep the chicken, remove feet, giblets, head, neck and internal organs. Give the chicken a rinse and then pat it dry with some paper towels.
Gently separate the skin from the meat of the breast and spread the herb butter on the meat underneat the skin. If you can get to it, try to spread it onto a part of the thighs as well. Take the remaining butter and rub the skin (do it as gently as possible so the skin does not break. It is very important to keep the skin intact and whole). Rub some salt and black pepper onto the entire surface of the chicken, including the cavity of the chicken. If you’re prepping the chicken the night before, cover the chicken with cling wrap and refrigerate it. Some would condone leaving the chicken uncovered for crispier skin but I just can’t bear the thought of food exposed in the fridge!
Take the chicken out of the fridge an hour before cooking. This makes for tender chicken and even cooking throughout the bird.
Stuff the cavity with the onion, celery and 1 sprig each of the thyme and rosemary. Here I had stuffed a lemon into the chicken but I’d much prefer the onion and celery option.
Scatter the remaining herbs on top and it’s good to go into the oven!
Into the oven they go at 205 degrees celsius. Roast for around 1.5 hours, basting the chicken in its own juices every half an hour.
And there you have it, a hearty roast chicken that’s ready to be eaten with a variety of side dishes, as can be seen in the picture below! Roasted some vegetables (recipe to come), made some mushroom soup, lobster pasta, cauliflower cheese (recipe to come) and pomme puree (recipe to come) as well as gravy to go with the chicken.
Roast Chicken Thighs
This is a good alternative when cooking for 1-2 people or if you simply prefer the thigh meat. Clean the chicken and pat dry. You can use the chicken straight away but I prefer to make it look … somewhat more posh and french. With reference to the above picture, I cut around the bone near the end of the drumstick. What happens is that I cut through the tendons and sinew (as seen in the top chicken). Remove visible tendons (they’re tough to eat). After which I proceeded to remove all skin, bone and cartilage from the bone end of the chicken, thus resulting the the chicken on the bottom of the picture. All cleaned up at the end.Chicken quarters cleaned up french style.
Tempt the dog (dog doesn’t seem tempted at all).Place the chicken into the oven preheated at 205 degrees celsius (ignore the 190 degrees seen in the picture) for about an hour or until juices run clear and the skin is golden brown in colour. Don’t forget to baste the juices onto the chicken, a couple of times will do I should think.