The Perfect Roast Chicken Recipe and The Secret Recipe Club
Sunday lunch……a late lazy start to the day, coffee or tea with the Sunday papers, sat at the kitchen table in my slippers and dressing gown…….the smell of cherry wood as the fire hisses and crackles, and the prospect of a family lunch together later. I love Sundays, although that wasn’t always the case when I was younger and still at school, as Sunday was the last day of freedom before lessons, exams and school. We don’t always have our main meal of the weekend on Sunday, although I am an ardent admirer of the “Sunday lunch tradition”; we sometimes have our “roast dinner” for a mid-week supper or on Saturday evening, if at all. But if I am cooking Sunday lunch for family and/or friends, there is one roast that always makes me feel cosy and contented, and that’s a roast chicken.
There is something very homely and comforting about a crisp roast bird, and although I love roast beef, roast pork and roast lamb, I have to say that a plump roast chicken is my favourite – with sage scented stuffing, crunchy golden roast potatoes and seasonal vegetables, as well as a jug of gravy. I always buy an organic bird, which has had a longer and more enjoyable life with a high level of compassion and welfare; they may cost more money, but they taste better and I feel I am not contributing to an unnecessary and cruel practice of mass reared birds, all crowed into small sheds with no daylight or a chance to run around and enjoy the outdoors. And, my initial outlay is worth it, as a large chicken just keeps on giving and provides me with at least 2 to 3 more family meals, as you can see here: Thrifty & Organic Meal Planner: Honey Roast Chicken, Hand Pies and Bread & Butter Pudding Recipes.
Today’s recipe for The Perfect Roast Chicken comes from my “secret partner” for another “reveal day” for The Secret Recipe Club; the club is a monthly cooking challenge where each month you are “assigned” a participating food blogger to make a recipe from. It’s a secret, so you don’t tell them you are making something from their blog, and the first they know about it is when you post the recipe on a designated “reveal day”. It’s a fabulous way to meet new people, discover new blogs and recipes, and I have been a member now for 2 years. This month, my secret blog assignment was for My Catholic Kitchen, a blog that I know well and visit regularly, as we are both members of the same “tribe” in “Triberr“.
Veronica, or Vonnie as her family and friends call her, is the author of My Catholic Kitchen and it is a blog filled with amazing tasty recipes and inspirational posts. Veronica says that she is…….“a food writer, food blogger, food photographer, recipe contest winner, college graduate, self-proclaimed bookworm as well as a lover of freshly baked bread, Krispy Kreme Donuts, a great cup of coffee, fried chicken and all that is comfort food”……….She is a self-taught cook and food photographer and she really has some lovely images, as well as recipes on her site. Here’s a few that grabbed my attention when I was over there looking to see what I would cook…..CANDIED BACON, ESPRESSO PECAN CAKE, PIMENTO CHEESE TEA SANDWICHES, CHEDDAR SWIRL BREAKFAST BUNS, CEDAR PLANKED SALMON and SEAFOOD LASAGNA ROLL-UPS. But it was her roast chicken that I turned to, as you may have already guessed, and I decided to cook Veronica’s PERFECT ROAST CHICKEN.
Veronica’s method for her Perfect Roast Chicken is exactly like my mum’s recipe.…….you stuff the cavity with fresh lemon, onions and some sprigs of thyme. The whole bird is then smeared with butter and salt and pepper, and it’s a sublime way of roasting chicken. Mum used to add her roasties (roast potatoes) in the same tin as the chicken, around the outside, and they would cook in the chicken fat and juices………DELICIOUS! I served my roast chicken with fresh sprouts, baton carrots and crisp duck-fat roast potatoes with a sausage, sage and onion stuffing, and some delectable home-made gravy made with the juices from the roasting tray and some wine!
This really is a PERFECT way to roast a chicken, and I want to say a BIG thanks to Veronica for reminding me how mum used to cook chicken! I have shared Veronica’s recipe below, with a few tweaks here and there, and the next time you want to roast a bird, this is THE way to cook it, trust me! That’s all for today and my secret recipe reveal, see you soon when I have more new recipes and some LOVELY festive giveaways too! Karen
1 1.2 to 1.5kg organic Chicken
1 tablespoon Maldon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 lemon, quartered
3-4 garlic cloves
1 onion, peeled and quartered
3-4 sprigs of lemon thyme
2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature.
Preheat oven to 220C/425F/Gas mark 7
Remove inside giblets and such. Rinse the bird under cold water. Pat dry with a paper towel. sprinkle the inside of the cavity with half the salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with the lemon, garlic, onion, and thyme.
Mix in a small bowl the butter and the rest of the salt and pepper. Rub the bird all over with the butter mixture.
Place the chicken in the pan and roast for 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours or until golden and crispy and the juices run clear.
Let the bird rest for about 15 minutes before you carve it.