Monday, 23 June 2014

Secrets to the Perfect Roast Chicken

A brief but very valuable lesson.

Don't be afraid of making a Roast Chicken like I was for years, just do it and you'll be so proud of the outcome! Pinky promise. Vegetables will come in another post, as they are yet to be perfected. In need of some cooking lessons from the best cook I know, my Mum.

It's important that you don't overcook your chicken. No amount of gravy can disguise a dry, rubbery chook.
Allow 30mins per 500g in a 170C oven (fan-forced) or 180C for a normal oven.

Use a combination of olive oil and canola oil to get a nice crispy skin as. I also score the skin of the chicken then I pour over the oil, about 2-3tbsp of each depending on the size of the chicken and then massage over kosher salt.

Don't skimp on the S&P. I also add a few whole cloves of garlic, skin intact as well as 3 quartered onions to the bottom on the roasting dish. The onions become so sweet and juicy, I try to sneak as many in before anyone else!

This trick I learnt from my Mum; cut a large lemon in half and insert it into the carcass of the chicken. It keeps the breast meat beautifully white and adds moisture throughout the whole chicken. The gravy I make with the pan juices also take on a beautiful citrus flavour.

Once the chicken has cooked for the specified time, take it out of the oven and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before serving to allow the juices to settle.

Use the leftover juice in the bottom of the roasting dish to make a gravy. You can add 1tbsp of flour along with chicken stock (a stock cube will also do) and combine with the pan juice over low heat. Sometimes instead of using flour and the stock I add a tbsp of granulated gravy to the juices which is also really easy.

I still have no idea how to properly cut the chicken once its cooked. I'm still learning but its not going so well. If anyone has any tips please let me know!