Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Recipe: The Best Roast Chook Ever

Have you ever had what you thought was going to be just an ordinary, everyday, run-of-the-mill roast and discovered something absolutely incredible?  Well, that happened to me last night.

I do a roast chook often.  Maybe once a fortnight, minimum.  Often weekly.  It's easy and I can do the ten million other things I need to get done while it's doing it's thing in the oven.  I then use the leftover meat in a casserole a few nights later so it's super frugal and my family thinks I'm amazing for as long as they're eating.  They love the casserole as much as the roast.  In our house the love equation seems to go like this:  Mum cooking + favourite meal = love.  I think they love me at other times too, but I know it at dinner time.

Yesterday I made a huge booboo.  I found a whole Marcro brand (organic) chook on sale.  Same size bird for $1 cheaper than the store brand so I bought it.  I got it home and discovered flavoured butter under the skin and almond and something stuffing in the cavity.  Miss Sunshine is allergic to nuts so I scooped out the goopy stuffing (best move ever, despite the allergy thing) and had my own way with it.

Maggie Beer's Barossa Chook with Preserved Lemon and Tarragon Butter seemed like a good place to start.  I didn't have preserved lemon or tarragon, but I did have lemons...and other stuff.  So I mixed my other stuff with a lot less butter than Maggie's recipe and smooshed that under the skin.  I cannot tell you how amazingly, darned good that roast was.  I don't know if it was the macro, organic bird or whether it was the butter, or a combination of both but it was sooooo good.  And interestingly the amount of liquid that came out of the chook while it was cooking was significantly less.

Tracy's Lemon, Thyme and 
Garlic Roast Chook

50g butter
zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme 
1 large clove garlic, peeled & finely chopped
1 whole chook (1.8-2kg)
the rest of the lemon
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan forced)
  2. Mix together the butter, lemon zest, thyme and garlic.
  3. Separate the skin from the meat on the breast side of the chicken, gently so as not to puncture the skin.  It will be attached down the center bone so carefully use a super sharp knife or scissors to separate that membrane.
  4. Smoosh the seasoned butter under the skin across the whole breast of the bird.
  5. Cut the lemon into 3 pieces and stuff it into the cavity of the chook.
  6. Place the chook in a baking dish and spray the skin with olive oil; place in the oven.
  7. Bake for about one and a half hours or until you're confident it's cooked through.
  8. Rest in a warm place for about 10 minutes before carving.
My family absolutely fall about themselves over roasted carrots.  So I cut 5 fairly large carrots in half and then quartered the large end and halved or quartered the thinner end, depending on the size.  I tossed them in the empty carrot bag with some oil and baked those in the pan with the chicken.  They came out perfectly.  Carrots take a surprisingly long time to roast!

You know what?  For the first time in forever no one asked for gravy.  Although the pan juices from this chook would have made the most delicious gravy as well!


Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me said...

My roast chooks always end up bad because of all the sloppy fat at the bottom and the skin just goes dry and crusty, maybe butter under skin, is that a must always? I'm just no cook! Emily - visiting as part of #teamIBOT

Lauren Matheson said...

Yum, sounds great! I find it's often when things don't go to plan that you get the best results :)

EssentiallyJess said...

You know, I have never roasted a chook! I really should give it a go one day!!