Monday, 21 May 2012

Roast Chicken, hot and fast

We moved Sunday lunch to suppertime a while ago. I have to reinstate it in the early afternoon if we have people over. It means that the kids mostly make it home for their Sunday meal, However if they arrive and it isn’t roast chicken, complaints fly, even if it’s the fifth week in a row, or the 9th. I’d like to say it’s boring, but since Steve is the roast meister, I can’t. I did teach him… but a long time ago now, and truth be told, he’s better at roasting chicken than me now.

The way I learnt  to roast chicken was to cook it hot and fast. The basic calculation is 15 minutes per pound, plus 15 minutes, so a 3lb chicken takes one hour. The only thing that you put in the bird is seasoning, half a lemon, a bunch of parsley, a bouquet garni and/or some garlic, the outside is usually covered with a trickle of olive oil, pepper and salt. The bird needs basting every 15 minutes, and we usually turn it onto its back at some point, to make sure the cooking is even and the breast doesn’t dry out. The oven needs preheating to the hottest it can go, the chicken goes in for 15 minutes at the top heat, and then you turn the oven down a third, for the rest of the cooking. Once it’s cooked for that length of time, you sit it on a board, cover it with foil and let it sit for at least five minutes, to relax and to let the juices flow.  Then carve.

If you think your oven might not be heating properly, check how well it is cooked, by pushing something sharp (skewer is the best thing) and if the juice comes out clear, the chicken is cooked.

It’s Monday, so pictures will have to wait until next week.

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