For almost 3 years of happily married post wedding bliss (and 3 equal years of not strangling each other whilst we sleep..) I have tried and tested many Sunday dinner/ Roast chicken recipes. From slow cookers, to roast-a-bags to shake & season kits, if its out there I’ve tried it. And by Jove, do you know? I think I’ve cracked it….
My inspiration for this recipe came from Jamie Oliver’s Ultimate Roast Chicken, (found at http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/chicken-recipes/ultimate-roast-chicken/) but like any good cook I’ve trialed and tweaked it to perfect it.
Before I start, I cannot stress the importance of buying good, fresh, local meat and poultry. The old saying of “you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear” has never been so true. I buy all my meat and poultry from a local butchers in Ballynahinch, County Down, and at £4.20 for a whole raw chicken it’s great value for money.
For my chicken, I create a “stand” for it in the casserole dish. This is just roughly chopped vegetables and garlic to set the chicken upon to allow heat to circulate fully and aid with flavour. I normally use 1 carrot, 1 red onion and a teaspoon of this very handy chopped garlic. You could however use a variety of vegetables- or whatever needs used up from the bottom of the fridge!
Next I treat my little chicken with some love and tenderness with a good massage with thyme, lemon, salt and pepper. You could use fresh thyme and a fresh lemon for this along with your seasoning, however I use this local rapeseed oil infused by Harnett’s with lemon and thyme that I received as a Christmas gift and it works a treat.
So after it’s little pamper session, this is the finished product, I then pop it in a 200 degrees centigrade oven for around 1hour 20 minutes until the skin is crisp and juices run clear.
And voila! A beautiful roast chicken!
Top tip: if you remove the chicken from the casserole dish for carving, you can pour the juices and vegetables into a stock pot to make a beautifully rich gravy. I added around 100ml of boiling water and gravy granules then simmered until thick.