The perfect roast chicken…
If you’ve been inspired by our roast chicken recipe in the June issue of Candis, here are some top tips from our food editor Catherine Hill, author of The Weekend Cookbook
“Everybody has their own tips and tricks when it comes to cooking a really great roast chicken,” says Catherine. “Here are a few of my own to guarantee fab results every time…
- Always buy the best you can – free range or organic are best, but if budgets are tight look out for RSPCA freedom food birds in your supermarket. They’re raised to strict welfare standards and are a little more reasonable.
- Take the chicken out of the fridge 30 minutes before cooking so that it’s not too chilly. Drizzle all over with oil and season well.
- Think flavour from the moment you begin to get your chicken ready for roasting. Pile some herbs and whole garlic cloves in the bottom of the roasting tin and add a good glug of wine or stock in the tin before setting the chicken on top.
- The white meat does tend to dry out more than the darker meat. To avoid this, I always roast my chicken breast side down for the first 45 minutes of cooking. Turn over, baste and cook the right way up for the remaining cooking time. If you’re using a flavoured butter (as above) you needn’t do this, as it will moist enough.
- Don’t overcook as the meat will easily dry out – a meat thermometer is a must.
- Rest the chicken upside down on a warmed serving dish – this allows all the juices to go into the white breast meat. Cover with foil and a tea towel to keep warm while you get the other bits ready.
- Pour the pan juices into a jug and skim off any fat. Use the goodness as your gravy base or simply warm and pour over the carved chicken.
- It takes just a minute to place the chicken carcass into a big pan and whip up your own stock for the most sublime soups and sauces.