Simple Roast Chicken
I love roasts of any kind. There are quite a few recipes of roast chicken out there but as usual the Simple Chicken Roast is hands down a winner with all the people I personally know.
To be fair I used a kind of amalgamated recipe of Julia Child's and Jamie Oliver's. I especially agree with Oliver's school of thought about a gravy saving any dish and even if your dish is beautiful a gravy is actually the proverbial cherry of the cake. It does add so much flavour.
What I most like about this recipe is its simplicity. Before we move on let me clear one thing , one does need to use butter for the recipe and no substitute would do. Well I personally love Olive oil be it the fruity flavours or the relief of eating healthy but for this particular recipe you cannot but use butter because it gives it all that delicious flavour
Serves 5 to 6
1.8kilogram whole chicken with the skin
4 to 5 medium sized potatoes
4 to 5 small onions not tiny though
Salt as per taste - I needed about 2 tbsp
Freshly ground pepper as per taste - I needed about 1 tbsp
1 head of garlic
1 stalk of celery
1 large lemon
For the filling
1/3rd cup bite sized carrots
1/3rd cup bite sized celery stalk
1/3rd cup bite sized onion
For the gravy
500ml to 700ml chicken stock
2 tbsp flour
Start by washing your chicken with lukewarm water . Wash it inside out and clean the cavity. Then wipe it with a kitchen towel.
Now massage the salt and pepper on the chicken but you must not forget to massage the cavity as well. use 1 tbsp butter to massage the chicken once you have rubbed the chicken with salt and pepper. Massage it well and leave aside for 1 hour.
Now dice the potatoes . Just halve them or make 4 pieces out of each potato. Roughly chop the carrots and onions and smash the cloves of garlic with the skin on .
Now finely chop the vegetables for the filling. Melt 20gm butter and saute the bite sized carrots, onions and celery till they are softened and then fill the cavity of the chicken with the sauteed vegetables. Take the lemon and prick it with a fork and microwave it at 900W for 20 seconds and place it in the cavity.
Now preheat oven to 220C and make a bed of the roughly chopped potatoes, onions and garlic and then add 50gm to 60 gm of melted butter on top place your chicken on top ,tie its legs with a string and roast for 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes.
Remember that you must bast the chicken after you have roasted it for 20 minutes and every 15 minutes thereafter.
This is a particular trick I learnt from a French blog where you turn over the chicken after 1 hour of roasting and roast it for 10 minutes and then turn over the chicken for the last 10 minutes of roasting. This process ensures that the back of the chicken gets well roasted and crispy.
Once roasted you must take out your chicken, wrap it in a kitchen towel and immediately go no to make a gravy. Just take out the pieces of potatoes and garlic then you will be left with the other vegetables and the delightful fat. Blend the vegetables with the fat and then bring this to a boil with the chicken stock and flour. Simmer for 5 minutes to 10 minutes and sieve and serve.
Do make a smooth paste of the flour with the chicken stock from before to prevent it from forming a lump.
Here are some Crucial tips for roasting