Friday, 29 June 2012

ITTP Prague TEFL: Roast Chicken

(Click on photo to enlarge)
Dude, where's my roast chicken?
The problem with roast chicken is that it's so damn tasty that once cooked the chances of making use of that tupperware container and saving some for later is almost equal in absurdity to that wine stopper preserver sitting idly restless on your study desk while your bottle of Chateuneuf du Pape (any year) miraculously empties before your very eyes. A recipe for roast chicken might seem a bit old school and obvious but there is an art to roasting a chicken correctly and by following this recipe you might just find yourself visiting RCEA meetings in coming months (Roast Chicken Eaters Anonymous). My name's Neville and I'm addicted to eating roast chicken. There, got that off my chest. The following is a simple and yet very effective recipe for a moist yet crispy roast chicken:


1 Chicken
Olive oil
Bay Leaf


Wash and dry your chicken.
Very carefully take the back of your chicken, locate where the wishbone is and run a sharp knife gently along the bone until you are able to take this bone off the chicken (this will make the carving process a lot easier once the chicken is cooked).
Cut the wings of the chicken off from the second joint (the wings can overcook and affect the overall experience of eating the bird).
Season the cavity (I used salt, freshly ground pepper, fresh thyme from our garden - but you can easily find this in most supermarkets at this time of year, quarter of a large lemon and a Bay Leaf).
Most chickens come with their legs tied together so try and re-tie the legs after seasoning the cavity as this will ensure a more even cooking process.
Rub the chicken all over in the olive oil and salt.
Place on a baking tray and from a height add a few more pinches of salt so that the salt falls onto the chicken evenly.
The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the bird but generally I preheat the oven to around 175 Celcius (approx 350 Fahrenheit) and then cook for 1 hour.
Turn off the heat, leave the door to the oven shut, and leave the chicken in the oven for a further 15 minutes so that it gradually cooks out.
Carve and serve.

Side view of chicken with wings clipped before cooking (Click on photo to enlarge)
View of seasoned chicken cavity before cooking (Click on photo to enlarge)

Whole roasted chicken (Click on photo to enlarge)

Preparation tip:

It's important to temper your bird before cooking and this means bringing the chicken up to room temperature before placing it into the pre-heated oven. If you bring the chicken direct from the fridge to the oven you will risk having an unevenly cooked chicken and the cooking process will take longer.

Pimp it up:

A wonderful way to pimp up this dish is to carefully put your fingers between the breast meat and skin and add slices of butter, thyme and/or Rosemary. The same can be done for the legs.
Additionally you could use an organic chicken although I used a Halal chicken and the results are always good (plus organic chickens are really expensive here).

Oh, here is my meal before the resulting RCEA step 12 carnage:

(Click on photo to enlarge)

Hope it helps!

Dobrou chut!/Bon appetit!

Neville :-)