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The perfect roast chicken

The Perfect Roast Chicken

Nothing beats an expertly roasted chicken, does it? It’s the perfect Sunday lunch, and will easily feed the entire family. What’s more, the delicious smell of slowly roasting chicken will fill the entire house — perking up everybody’s appetite. Here’s how to cook the perfect roast chicken.

The Key:

The key to perfection lies in these 3 things…

  1. What goes inside the chicken
  2. What goes outside the chicken
  3. Keeping it moist

Start by preparing a roasting tray. Line it with tinfoil, being sure to leave plenty of foil sticking out so you can completely cover the top of the chicken.

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius (340 F).

Assuming the chicken is plucked, and the innards removed, it’s time to prepare the inside of the chicken. Your filling has 2 jobs to do…

  • Flavour the meat from the inside out
  • Keep the chicken moist

I like to make up a mixture that includes freshly crushed (with the flat blade of a knife) garlic pieces, chopped pieces of either lemons, oranges or tomatoes, mixed herbs, paprika and pepper. Sometimes I chop up a chilli and add that too. Mix it together, and stuff it into the chicken. Use one of the lemon, orange or tomato pieces to plug the hole.

Now place the chicken upside down on the tinfoil in the roasting tray. Coat the bottom of the chicken with olive old, and sprinkle of mixed herbs, salt and paprika. You might also add chilli flakes if you like a little extra kick.

Turn the chicken right-side up, and repeat. Be generous with the oil, as this helps to keep the chicken nice and moist.

Cover the chicken thoroughly with the rest of the tinfoil. Before sure to leave ways to unwrap the tinfoil easily, so you can check the chicken later on.

Place the chicken in the oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes (longer for a large chicken). Check the chicken is done by pricking a flesh part of the chicken, and noting the colour of the juices. If the juice runs clear, it’s cooked.

You can brown the chicken further by re-coating it with oil or butter, and cooking for another 10 minutes without recovering.

NOTE: I get my cooking tips from Chef Richard Brooks, who runs this excellent contract catering company.

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