I honestly don’t know if there is anything better in the world than roast chicken. It’s like the most enormous hug on a really crappy day. Or the brightest smile on a really lovely day. It’s basically the best thing ever and is probably the main reason I am not a vegetarian.
I love roasting a chicken (or two) at the weekend for a delicious lunch. Then not only will the house smell incredible, but I also know I will have amazing left overs for the rest of the week, especially if I’ve cooked an extra one. Knowing I have scrummy food to eat means I know that it’s going to be a really good week.
Now come on, I know I’m not the only one who likes the house to smell good. And I’m not afraid to use food to achieve this goal. People coming over? Pop some cookies in the oven. You don’t have to give them the cookies, but the house will smell amazing. And that’s what counts.
So in the absence of an Eau de Poulet at Boots with the face of one of endless celebs with fragrances out at the moment, is not the reason I am telling you to make this chicken. You should make it because it’s incredibly delicious. I know so many people who are still yet to roast their first chicken. I think they think it’s hard. Maybe sometimes I have pretended it is, so that I get more thanks and smiles. But I am coming clean, and telling you that it couldn’t be easier.
This chicken is jazzed up with a gorgeous drizzle of thyme, garlic and lemon. Yum.
So here’s my guide to how to make the perfect roast chicken.
- Take your chicken out of the fridge 30 minutes before it goes into the oven.
- Preheat your oven to 240°C/475°F/gas 9.
- Peel the onion and cut into 4 chunks. Then chuck it in the pan.
- Place the chicken in the roasting tray, sitting on top of the onions. You want the chicken to be a relatively snug fit in the tray. So don’t use a ridiculously enormous roasting tin.
- Cut the lemon in half and pop inside the chicken's cavity.
- Drizzle with a generous glug of olive oil. Roll up your sleeves and give that little chicken a bit of a massage. The more love you give it, the better it will taste.
- Sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt (this is what helps the skin to go gorgeously crispy) and a crack of pepper.
- Strip the thyme sprigs of their leaves (ooh la la) and sprinkle these over the chicken.
- Now pop it into the preheated oven.
- Turn the heat down immediately to 200°C/400°F/gas 6 and cook the chicken for 1 hour and 20 minutes. You’ll know it’s cooked, when you poke it in the thigh and the liquid that pours out is clear and not at all pink.
- When cooked, take the tray out of the oven and transfer the chicken to a board to rest for 15 minutes or so. Cover it with a layer of tinfoil and a tea towel and put aside. Now is normally the time to make your gravy.
Except this time, I’m going to tell you how to make this amazing drizzle instead.
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil
- 4 sprigs thyme, leaves stripped off
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- juice of ½ lemon
- good pinch of salt, pepper
Combine the olive oil, crushed garlic, thyme leaves, salt and lemon juice.
- Then drizzle over the roasted chicken. Carve him up and add a little more drizzle.
- Serve with cherry tomato and rocket salad with a side of brown rice for a truly nutritious and delicious lunch!
- Top tip:
- I'm really suggest that you buy free-range or organic. But if you're a little tight for cash, I totally get that, so the RSPCA Freedom Food chickens are really good and available in all good supermarkets. Yayy! You won't believe how much better happy chicken tastes!
Don’t forget to pop your email into the box, you will be getting special recipes, made exclusively for you!