The perfect roast chicken
I’m not going to preach about chickens and how you should only buy free range ones etc. I keep a few hens myself and they are free range but when it comes to buying them in a supermarket I buy whichever one I can afford at the time. Sometimes the ideal world has to wait!
TIPS: Removing the wishbone before cooking makes it much easier to carve. There is no real technique to it just carefully run a knife in around the 2 sides of the bone and in behind it and it should pull free.
If during carving you notice the legs haven’t cooked fully through, don’t panic but don’t serve them. Carve them off and put them back into the oven for 10 mins. Better late than never!
1x 1.6kg (affordable) chicken
1 medium onion
2 sticks of celery
1 bulb of garlic
Bunch of thyme
Sea salt & black pepper
Remove the bird from the fridge a half an hour before you start. Preheat oven up at max. Wash and chop the veg roughly, no need to peel them. Break the garlic bulb into cloves and give them all a bit of a smack with the flat of the knife.
Throw all the veg into a suitable sized roasting tray minus 3 cloves of garlic. Cut the string that ties the chicken so it ‘relaxes’; push a sharp knife down the inside of the leg beside the breast, as this is the last place to cook fully. Prick the lemon all over with a knife and stuff it into the cavity along with the thyme and 3 cloves of garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and rub with salt and pepper.
Pop the bird on top of the vegetables and place in the hot oven. Keep it up max for 15 mins then turn it down to 190°c for 1 hour 10 mins, baste it a few times during that time. Add a little water to the veg if it’s looking dry but there should be enough juices coming from the bird.
After the cooking time is up skewer the meatiest part of the leg insuring the juices run clear. If not, put back in oven for 10 mins.
Set the cooked chicken on a clean chopping board and cover with foil and a clean tea towel. Allow to rest for at least 15 mins.
Carving: Pull off the wings (these can be used as flavouring in your gravy) cut down between the leg and the breast, cut through the joint and pull the leg off. This can be cut again between the thigh and the drumstick to give you 4 leg pieces. Angle your knife along the breastbone (this is easier done with wishbone removed) and carve the whole side off, you can them proceed to slice this. Repeat on other side them get stuck in pulling the remainder of meat off with your fingers, especially on underside. Serve all on a platter in the centre of the table.