I started roasting a chicken every other Sunday a few years ago, the ultimate comfort food. The house smells amazing and leftovers abound. I simmer the bones for stock. If you don’t have time, just store in the freezer for the next time you make soup. Roasting a big piece of meat can be intimidating, and chicken is a great way to start. After the recipe see my tricks for roasting.
Back to the main event – this killer roast chicken. It might seem like a lot of garlic. It’s not as it gets sweet as it roasts. If you’re a fan of roasted garlic, add even more. Serves 4-6.
killer roast chicken
1 organic chicken – approximately 1.5-2 kg
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 onion peeled and quartered
5 cloves of garlic
2 sprigs of rosemary
1/2 cup water
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly dry off the chicken with paper towel. Place the chicken breast side down on baking dish. This keeps the meat moist. Drizzle oil on top. Snuggle the onion and garlic and one rosemary stick in the chicken cavity. It will all fit. I promise. Wiggle the other rosemary stick underneath some of the skin.
Season the top of the chicken generously with pepper and a generous shake of salt. Pour water into the pan, avoiding the chicken. Roast in the oven for 1 hour at 400 degrees, basting twice. Reduce heat to 350 degrees for a final 30 minutes. Use less time at the end or more depending on the weight of your chicken. Insert a knife to check to see if cooked when the juices run clear. Let rest for 15 mins. Carve and dive in.
1. Buy the best meat you can afford. Find a butcher in your neighbourhood. Always cheaper and better quality than the grocery store. Go organic if you can, the difference in taste and texture is worth it. My favourite organic produce is from Mama Earth, and meat is from Blue Goose.
3. Let it rest. Always. 15 minutes minimum. Flavours get to know each other and all the juices redistribute. Get yourself something to drink and go chat with your guests and sit down on the couch. You deserve it after slaving in the kitchen.
2. Timing is everything. Prep the sides before and reheat them if this is the first time pulling off a roast for a crowd. This means you can focus on the meat. My strategy is always start hot (400 degrees or more) for 45 – 60 minutes and then take down the heat. Works well for pork, chicken, lamb and beef.