I used to be quite scared to roast a chicken. What if it turned out to be under-cooked and I poisoned everyone? Or, what if it turned out dry and inedible because I cooked it too long?
A while back I found a great recipe for slow-roasting a reasonable sized bird. I adapted it, (of course!), and have now tried this quite a few times in different ways. The result has been perfect on each occasion 🙂
With the holiday season approaching and bringing guests along with it, check out my top 5 tips:
Tip 1: Use lots of butter
The best way to add juiciness to your chicken is to smear butter liberally between the meat and the skin. This butter can be flavoured as you like – I’ve tried Thai influences as well as just adding traditional herbs like sage.
In addition, make sure you also cover the skin with a thin layer of butter and/or olive oil. This will give you a lovely golden brown result.
Tip 2: Put stuffing between the breast meat and the skin
Rather than filling the chicken’s cavity with stuffing, put it between the breast meat and the skin. You can easily use your fingers to make a pocket extending from the neck upwards over the breast area. Putting stuffing here will impart deliciousness into the meat as well as protecting it from over-cooking.
Tip 3: Put a lemon, onion and herbs in the cavity
These will steam whilst cooking and then fragrance the meat from the inside out. (If you don’t have a lemon then use a lime or orange pieces instead.)
Not filling the cavity with stuffing means the heat can circulate better and cook the chicken more evenly.
Tip 4: Use a big roasting pan and cook your vegetables with the chicken
The worst thing is squashing your chicken into the pan. Use a bigger size and cook your potatoes and carrots in it too – this also saves on cleaning!
Tip 5: Cook it slowly!
The most important tip is to cook the chicken slowly rather than blasting it with heat. If you try cooking with too high a temperature then the outside will brown long before the meat cooks down to the bone.
Also, use foil to cover the bird for part of its cooking time – this will help keep the moisture where it belongs rather than escaping into your oven. Foil will also help you control the browning of the skin – cover the breast with extra foil to stop it browning too much.
Click on the photos for details of my favourite roast chicken recipes, or click here for all my chicken recipes. Enjoy!