I love a good roast chicken. My MIL in makes one of the best I’ve ever had but I thought it was about time I tried to make one myself. The perfect opportunity arose when DH was going out for the evening and my adorable niece and nephew were being babysat by my parents. Of course I invited myself over for dinner and offered to cook (how could they say no!). My biggest problem was what recipe to use for my first roast chicken. Out of habit, I went straight to the Masterchef Australia website and found what I was looking for – Maggie Beer’s roast chook recipe here from 2011. It’s a simple recipe with a small amount of ingredients, my kind of recipe. Normally I would like gravy with my roast chicken but I thought I should accomplish one obstacle at a time. Gravy can be grappled with next time.
What you will need:
30 Garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 Lemon, juiced
3 sprigs Rosemary, chopped
50ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt (I used pink salt)
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
125ml Verjuice* (this can be bought at speciality food stores)
1 Cup Chicken Stock
Preheat a fan forced oven to 200°C. Blanch the unpeeled garlic in boiling water for 4 minutes, drain and set aside. This will make the garlic very mushy and aromatic, and in most cases, the peel will fall off. Pour the lemon juice into the chicken’s butt and throw in the rosemary sprigs. Combine the olive oil, a pinch of sea salt and pepper and massage this into the chicken’s skin. Using foil, cover the breast only of the chicken. Place the chicken on a wire rack in a shallow (approximately 5cm deep) baking tray. Place the tray with the chicken on the middle shelf of the oven and roast for about 1 hour.
|Chicken rubbed with salt, pepper & olive oil|
Take the chicken out of the oven (watch the steam) and transfer the foil from the chicken breast to the chicken legs. Pour the verjuice over the chicken and put the blanched garlic cloves into the baking tray. Add the water to the base of the baking tray to avoid burning. Cook for another 20 minutes. Remove the chicken and place the breast side down on the wire rack and cover the entire chook loosely with foil.
|Half way done|
|Half way mark - wrap legs with foil|
Allow to rest for 30 minutes in a warm place, like a closed microwave.
|Ready to rest for 30 minutes|
Before carving, check that the chicken is cooked by cutting a small incision into the part of the chook. If no pink juices run out your chicken is cooked. Or you use can use a meat thermometer. 68°C will signal a cooked chicken.
While the chicken was cooking and resting, I had plenty of time to prepare my sides. I chose to serve my roast chicken with green beans, baby carrots and mash.
To make the verjuice sauce, warm one cup of chicken stock and add this and the pan juices to a small jug. Refrigerate until a few minutes before you require. Skim off any fats from the top of the sauce, and reheat in a small saucepan on the stove. I put the sauce back into the jug and allowed guests to pour over their meal as they preferred.
I am very pleased with my first roast chicken dinner. The chicken was flavoursome and moist and went perfectly with my buttered carrots and beans, and mash.
|Ready to eat|
To match my very savoury dinner, I whipped up Masterchef’s Dark Chocolate Raspberry Tart earlier in the day, which I have posted about hereTo see more photos and get updates visit and like my Facebook page here
* Verjuice was made available commercially by Maggie Beer (fancy that!) and is made from unfermented grapes. It can be used in place of other acidic condiments like lemon juice and vinegar.