Thursday 29 September 2011

Roasted Chicken

After a long time I finally had some time (My kids were having their exams - though it almost felt like I had my exams going on), So I decided to try out my hand at making roasted chicken as a treat for everyone (including myself!). There is always a kind of fascination for roasting a whole chicken and then carving it at the dinner table (I still have to master the art of carving one perfectly). Though the chicken was great on its own, I served it with mashed potatoes and stir fried vegetables in garlic and lemon to make it a complete meal.The chicken was extremely  moist  and succulent and it was so tender that it was  just falling apart while cutting it. It was a complete hit and my kids absolutely loved it!

To prepare the chicken
Thoroughly clean and wash the chicken
Pat it dry it with  paper towels all over including the cavity.
Rub the chicken generously inside and outside with a mixture of salt,pepper,garlic paste, dried rosemary, oregano, thyme and butter.
Keep aside the marinated chicken for 3 - 4 hours.

To cook your chicken
Preheat oven to 200 C.
Place the chicken breast side up in a roasting pan.Put  the lemon rinds,bay leaves and a few garlic cloves inside the cavity. This will give the chicken a nice aromatic flavor.
Cook the chicken for 40 -45 minutes or till the skin has nicely browned. Turn the chicken over and roast for another 30 minutes or till it has browned.
Turn over the chicken breast side up again and cook for 10 or 15 minutes more or till the juices run clear.
Baste the chicken halfway  through cooking with the fat and juices that have collected in the pan.
Basting will make the chicken moist and prevent the chicken skin from burning.
When properly cooked remove the chicken from the oven  and rest the chicken for 15-20 minutes before serving.

To carve your chicken

When carving the chicken leave it on a plate  to catch the juices.
The first cut is around the top of the leg.
Then turn the chicken and circle around the bottom of the leg.
Now press the leg in the opposite direction of its natural position to pop the leg out of the joint. 
Do the same thing to the other leg.
The wing will slice off with one swift cut with the knife.
To carve the breast slice through the top of the chicken separating the two breasts.
Slide your knife against one side of the bone separating the breast from the chicken.
Make another cut on the bottom of the breast and the whole breast should come off. Do the same thing with the other breast.
Place the breast on a cutting board skin side up. 
Slice the breasts into nice big chunks.
Serve the chicken on a big platter.

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