Yes, it's May and I am roasting a chicken. Why not I say! If you have been following along this week, you would have seen this is a continuation in the series of the Spring roasted lunch. You can check the Thyme & Lemon Roasted Potatoes as well as the Sherry Sautéed Asparagus and Carrots which were served with this chicken. Still to come is Mike's Onion Gravy, which will be up tomorrow. Still in time to get it done for Sunday!
Sometimes you just can't beat a good roasted chicken. I know, most of you probably think of roast dinners and picture dark wintery days, but why not serve it up in the bright light of spring. That was just what we did last weekend and it tasted pretty darn good. I know the days are coming to a close around here for hot roasts like this, so I am still making the most of it before summer turns up to 37 degrees. Then the only thing roasting will be me!
Roasting a whole chicken is as easy as 1 2 3. It really is super simple and anyone can do it, honest. If you are a novice, I will help you along with a few little tips and you should be good to go.
First of all, as a rule (but not always fail safe), you cook a chicken for about 1/2 hour per pound of meat. It a general guide, but depending on the heat of your oven, it could be done a little quicker or take a tad longer. This chicken took pretty much exactly 2 hours the other day. Generally, you can stab a knife under the drumstick near the thigh and if the juices run clear, then your chicken is ready. Another way to gage if the bird is done is by using a meat thermometer. You would stick it into the top of the chicken between the leg and the breast and if if reads 165 degrees F, your chicken is ready. So there are many methods to check if the chicken is ready to serve.
I like to rub the skin with butter before roasting. This is something I have always done and I do it to get a good browning on the skin as well as that nice crispy skin. It is not essential, but something I like to do. When you look at the recipe below you may wonder why I cover the chicken with aluminium foil part way through cooking. Well, quite often the skin will cook too quickly and blacken before the chicken cooks through. By covering it for part of the cooking time, you will ensure nice golden skin that isn't burnt.
When stuffing the chicken, pack it in pretty tight and tie the legs as tightly together as you can. This will help the stuffing to cook properly and not dry out.
I always like to let the chicken rest about 10 minutes or so before serving. I find once the meat has relaxed a bit it not only tastes better but cuts better as well. You could even serve it up to 1/2 hour after it comes out of the oven as it keeps it's heat a long time. If you are cooking it a while before serving, cover in tin foil to ensure it stays warm.
Hope these little tips help you to get that perfect roast chicken.
Don't forget tomorrow I will be posting the final recipe in this series, Mike's Onion Gravy. That is a recipe not to be missed. So, so, so good!
Fresh Thyme & Lemon Stuffed Spring Chicken
Serves 4-6 / Prep time: 15 minutes / Cook time: 2 hours
1 Whole chicken, approximately 2kg/4.5lbs
1 Tablespoon butter
4 Cups of bread crumbs, About 6-7 slices of bread
1/4 Cup/60 ml melted butter
1/2 Onion, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon olive oil
6 sprigs fresh thyme, herbs removed from stalks and stalks discarded
Zest of one lemon
Small bunch of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
Fresh ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and have ready a large roasting tin.
Wash chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Place in roasting tin and set aside.
In a medium skillet set over medium to high heat, add the olive oil and onions. Cook, stirring regularly, for about 5-7 minutes or until onions are soft. Set aside.
In a food processor, add the slices of bread and pulse until you have coarse bread crumbs. This takes about 20 seconds or so. Transfer the bread crumbs to a medium bowl. Add the melted butter, onion, thyme, lemon zest, parsley, salt and pepper. Stir really well or mix with hands to combine.
Place the stuffing inside the cavity of the chicken. Tie the chicken legs together with kitchen twine. Rub the extra tablespoon of butter over the skin of the chicken.
Place in oven and roast for about 1/2 hour. Remove from oven and loosely wrap in aluminium foil. Put back in the oven for a further hour. Take chicken out of oven and baste it with the pan juices. Remove foil and place back in oven for a further 1/2 hour or so. Juices will run clear when chicken is cooked.
Remove from oven. Cut the string off the legs and with a spoon scoop out the stuffing and transfer to a serving dish. Serve after letting stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes.
Click the downloadable link below to print recipe!
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