Recorded here so I can remember it for next time, and the time after that.
Yesterday, I decided that I was going to do some of the “usual” Easter things that I’ve either done in the past or have been new additions to the Easter routine in the last few years. So I bought myself some Easter chocolate, watched my church’s online Easter service, and, in the evening, cooked a roast chook we’d bought the day before.
First note: make sure you allow enough time for cooking the whole chook! I misremembered the cooking time and got started a bit late, so was very hungry by the time it was all ready. The packaging the chicken comes in should say how long to cook it for. Ours was 25-30 minutes per 500g.
So, the recipe. I began with a recipe from my Great Australian Cookbook, for “summer roast chicken”. Then I adapted it a bit.
- 1 whole chook
- 1 lemon
- 2-4 garlic cloves
- mixed herbs
- paprika, salt & pepper
- canola oil
- potato, carrot, other roasting veg
- corn, peas, Warrigal greens & other veg for steaming
- roasting tray(s)
- chopping board
- Take chicken out of its packaging and let it rest, out of the fridge, for 15-30 minutes before preparing it.
- Preheat the oven to the required temperature (this will also be on the packaging).
- Halve the lemon and skin the garlic cloves. Set aside.
- Make the rest of the stuffing: in a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs, salt, paprika, pepper and a little oil. Stuffing should be fairly red in colour.
- Back to the chicken.
If you have sensory sensitivities, this is the step where things get gross and messy for a bit, FYI.
- Dislocate the leg bones at the top of the thigh to flatten the chicken; also, remove the wishbone.
- Open the cavity and stuff a lemon half and half the garlic cloves in, so they’re right at the end of the cavity.
- Add the stuffing. Pack it in.
- Shove the other lemon half and remaining garlic in, then close the skin flaps over the hole.
If you care about properly closing it, seal the hole with a skewer or toothpicks (keeps more juices in).
- Now for the outside of the chicken. Drizzle oil, salt and paprika over the outer surface of the chicken. Use your fingers to smear them into the skin.
Phew! Wash your hands! You’re finished with the messy gross bit!
- Put the chicken in the oven for the required time in a roasting tray.
- Prepare your root veg for roasting and put them in later. They’ll need maybe an hour, it depends. (I’m still figuring this bit out!)
- Prepare and steam the other veg in the last half an hour of the roasting. Steamed veg shouldn’t take more than 12-15 minutes on the stove in a steamer pot.
- Test the chicken for readiness by sticking a knife or skewer into the breast and seeing if the juices run clear and the meat around the incision is white.
Rubbing the oil and salt and paprika into the chicken skin gives crispy, seasoned skin (it literally cracked open when I stuck my knife in to check for doneness!). The lemons, garlic and paprika mix give a zesty, flavourful stuffing. The chicken meat inside should be tender and juicy.
My next project is figuring out what to do with the juices that leaked out during the cooking process…I’ve got enough for a stock base or something. Any ideas?