The Great Roast Dinner #3: The Key to a Good Roast Chicken

Roast chicken can be very good if you do it right. It is so very easy to ruin a roast chicken by drying it out and making it tasteless. Roast chicken to me, is a very homely meal – coming from a Jewish family, its a usual main dish to have after a good chicken and matzo ball soup as a starter on a Friday night with all the family around for dinner.

Renata and I have found that the key to a good roast chicken is 3 things: basting, timing and spices.

We came up with this recipe one cold Saturday evening in with a bottle of white wine and our creative chef hats on.

We firstly halved a whole lemon, squeezed some of the juice inside the chicken and then stuffed the chicken with both halves. Then we sliced a whole red onion in half and also stuffed this into the chicken. Next comes the garlic cloves. I crush them so that the flavours come out and then make sure to rub the outside of the chicken with them before also stuffing these inside.

Next comes the salt, pepper, thyme, and olive oil, which you rub on the outside of the bird – then voila its done.

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You can also chop up some onion and garlic and put it in the baking tray with the bird – this is optional.

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As we sat and caught up on life with a bottle of chilled white wine and a naughty little slice of brie, we left the bird to slowly cook on 220 degrees (make sure the oven is pre-heated) for 90 to 120 minutes depending on size of the bird. Every 30 minutes we would make sure to use a baster to get the juices from the tray and pour it over and inside the chicken.

50 minutes before the chicken is ready, its time to get the potatoes into the pan to par-boil before roughing them up and then lightly coating with olive oil, salt, pepper and a tiny sprinkle of flour before putting them in the oven for 40 minutes. Obviously the best way to cook potatoes would be with goose fat, but olive oil is a lot healthier and it does the trick.

Then comes for the vegetables we boiled some broccoli and peas.

And 2 hours later, but still a lot more girly chatting to do, out came the bird.

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And the leftovers are great in salads or sandwiches for work the next day.

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