Fancy yourself as a bit of a Nigella in the kitchen or are you the total opposite, able to burn toast at the press of a toaster? We all go through the awkward cook stage at one point in our lives but it’s those that decide to take the reigns and make a little effort that get themselves out of that cooking rut.
Roast chicken is pretty easy to make but then for those striving for perfection or those wanting to impress, here are a few pointers to get you on the way to creating a juicy, mouthwatering roast chicken. Firstly, you’ll find that Organic Chicken like that from Graig Farm can be a great option as the meat is actually healthier. Did you know organic chicken is lower in saturated fat than other chicken and is in higher omega-3 fatty acids? Which we all know are good for our hearts! From the outset, organic is the healthiest option to go for.
When Do I Season?
Preferably a few hours before you start roasting. Season generously with salt and cracked black pepper and you should find your chicken will not only be full of flavour but it will also have a crispier skin.
Do I Place the Chicken Straight onto the Baking Tray?
You have two options here. A V shaped roasting rack which allows the heat to pass all around the chicken giving a crispy skin is one of them.
Want additional flavour? Then place a layer of veggies under the chicken. This raises it and allows for a crispier skin below then it would have had on a flat baking tray.
Should I Stuff the Chicken?
That’s simply a matter of taste. Adding stuffing, or lemon, onions and garlic with herbs can add different yet equally enticing flavours to the meat. Why not try a few different options to see which you like best? And of course to mix it up a bit for a variety of flavours.
Should I Add Anything other than Seasoning to the Outside of the Chicken?
If you liked the sound of stuffing the chicken, this is where you can get more adventurous.
Add butter or olive oil to the outside or the skin or even under the skin. This will give it a golden appearance and a great crunch too.
You can even experiment with piercing the skin and adding herbs and garlic into the holes. Flavours will infuse into the meat. Alternatively, add in slices of lemon under the skin, spices or herbs under the skin.
Bacon can also be laid over the chicken part way through to add flavour although this may affect the crispiness of the skin where it is placed. You can turn the chicken so it is breast side up approximately 12 minutes before it is ready and place the bacon on top to cook.
Should You Cover A Chicken When Roasting?
Many cover their chicken for part of the cooking duration in order to keep the moisture in the meat. But, if you keep it covered all the way through the skin will remain moist and soggy.
Most aim for a crispy golden skin with juicy, flavourful, tender meat. In order to do this it’s best to avoid using foil, just make sure you use plenty of butter under the skin to keep the moisture sealed in. This would be my preferred option.
Should the Chicken Be Turned Part Way Through Cooking?
If you are not covering the chicken, another way to cook it is to start with the chicken breast facing up on the baking tray. Cook it like this for part of the way, then flip it over to allow the meat to cook through and the skin to crisp. The meat around the bone where the legs join the body need that little bit more direct heat exposure to cook through properly so juices run clear.
Do you have any advice for those that may need it on making a great roast chicken?
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