Don’t make work for yourself, with just a few simple tips you will be making simple roast chicken with ease and no worries about uncooked meat or having to monitor time too rigidly.
I’ve been going through my blogposts of the past year and believe me there are a lot of them. I’ve just realised that even though I have plenty of recipes dealing with what to do with leftover roast chicken, I’ve not blogged my simple roast chicken.
In fact, it was jogged to my memory recently when my pal, The Clothesline, blogged about how she felt life was too short to be roasting chickens. While I agree that life is far too short to be stressing over oven timers and worrying whether a chicken is cooked through in the recommended time on the packet, that’s not to say though that you shouldn’t cook a roast chicken yourself.
So here are a couple of tips and tricks, in bullet point form for you to think about the next time you’re cooking your roast dinner.
- You need a roasting try with a grill rack inside. I use my grill tray because I’m tight on space so don’t have the luxury of having both.
- Have the chicken at room temperature. If it’s been sitting in the fridge then leave it out for at least 2 hours before you plan to cook. What I do is if I’m going to cook chicken for an evening meal, I take it out in the morning before/after the kids go to school.
- Preheat your (fan) oven to 150 degrees Celcius. Don’t put your meat into a cold oven.
- Boil a kettle of water before you start.
- Take the chicken out of the packaging, cut off any strings or elastics that might be holding it together. This allows the heat to circulate around the bird better. Now place the chicken on the rack.
- Pick up the kettle of boiling water and pour the hot water over the chicken itself so that you scald the bird. It only takes about 500ml of hot water to do this. Season with salt and pepper.
- Now here’s the secret, I keep all my old butter wrappers for roast chickens. It takes about 2 x 1lb butter wrappers for each bird. Cover the chicken with the butter wrappers then cover these with a second layer of tin foil, shiny side facing inwards.
- Open the oven, put the chicken inside and before closing, 3/4 fill the rest of the roasting tray with hot water from the kettle.
- Cook for 2 hours, 30 mins at 150 degrees Celcius.
- After which time, remove the wrappers and roast for another 20 minutes – this will give you that golden colour.
- Finally, take the chicken from the oven and recover with the wrappers, lift onto a plate and rest for 30 minutes before serving.
- So for 1 medium chicken (which is what I normally cook) put it into the oven at 2pm, take it out at 4.30pm, back in until 4.50pm and rest for 30 minutes. This means your simple roast chicken will be ready by 5.30pm to serve to the family.
The reason why I use no seasonings other than salt and pepper (and butter wrappers) for the chicken is so that I can use the carcass for stock afterwards.
To make stock, roast the chicken meat free (picked over) carcass at 200 degrees Celcius for 30 minutes before plunging into 1 litre of simmering water for 2 hours.
If this has whetted your appetite for roast chicken then here are a few of my recipes, using leftovers from a roast dinner for you to try out: