The title of this post isn't implying that this roast chicken is the best or "number 1", but that it is my first ever roast chicken. I don't usually cook with meat (that's not to say I'm vegetarian - I'm just more of a dessert-cooking person!). If I do, it's usually something simple with bite-sized pieces of meat or minced meat. Never before have I cooked with a giant leg of lamb or a large piece of beef or even a whole chicken.
After watching so many MasterChef successes in the kitchen on TV, it's definitely inspired me to be more adventurous in the kitchen and explore outside the realm of desserts and other sweet things. So with the help of a few friends, I set out to roast my first ever chicken!
We roasted two small chickens with some root vegetables and Queen Chu also made mashed sweet potato. The aroma of the roasting chicken was amazing, and the flavour of the lemon and herbs shone through. The chicken was quite moist and succulent, with only a few dry bits around the breast and the drumstick. Evidently I still need more practice but for the first time I thought it turned out pretty well!
Perfect Roast Chicken (Serves 6)
Adapted from Jamie's Ministry of Food by Jamie Oliver
2 small (approximately 1.2kg) free range chickens
1 bulb of garlic
a bunch of fresh herbs - either thyme, rosemary, bay or sage, or a mixture
sea salt and cracked black pepper
1. Remove chickens from the fridge 30 minutes before roasting. Preheat oven to 240ºC. Wash, peel and roughly chop vegetables and break garlic bulb into cloves. Pile all the vegetables and garlic into a large roasting tray and drizzle with olive oil.
2. Drizzle chickens with olive oil and rub all over with salt and pepper. We also rubbed some dried herbs such as rosemary, thyme, parsely or oregano over the chicken, but this is optional.
3. Prick lemons all over with the tip of a sharp knife and microwave for 30-40 seconds to bring out the juices. Separate the bunch of herbs into half, and stuff each chicken with half the bunch of herbs and one lemon. Place chickens on top of vegetables in roasting tray.
4. Place roasting tray into the oven and immediately turn the heat down to 200ºC. Cook chicken for 1.5hrs. Halfway through cooking time, baste the chicken with the pan juices and splash some water onto the vegetables if they look dry. When cooked, remove tray from oven and rest for 15-20 minutes.