I’m calling this Perfect-Every-Time Roast Chicken for a reason: it’s perfect. Every time.
I’m a big fan of roasting a chicken early in the week, serving it for dinner with some veggies on the night I roast it, and then using chicken for one or two more dinners the rest of the week – in fajitas, in a chicken pot pie, whatever you fancy.
This is the recipe I use for perfect, juicy, delicious roast chicken, and I’m sharing it with you because I want you to know how easy it is to roast an amazing chicken. (It’s a very slightly adapted version of this recipe.)
Here we go.
Perfect Roast Chicken
First things first. Get yourself a nice chicken. I get free range, because they’re treated better when they’re alive, and that makes for fewer weird hormones in the meat. They’re only a tiny bit more expensive than a non-free range chicken, and that’s worth it to me. I normally get between a 3 and 3.5 pound chicken, and that does what I talked about above – you know, 2-3 meals.
3-3.5 pound chicken
2 carrots (or parsnips. I love a good parsnip.)
1 bulb of garlic
Salt and Pepper
A sprig of fresh rosemary (or sage, or bay)
Start by preheating the oven to 475 F (240 C).
Roughly chop the onions into big chunks. Cut the carrots in half vertically, then again horizontally. Break the garlic up into cloves. Throw all of this into a roasting tin or onto a large baking tray with a rim. Drizzle generously with olive oil, and toss the vegetables around a bit to coat it in oil.
Now take your chicken and place it on top of the vegetables. If it’s tied together, remove the string. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with sea salt and freshly cracked ground pepper. Rub all of that into the chicken.
Take your lemon, stab it a few times with a fork or sharp knife, and stick it in the microwave for 30 seconds to get the juices flowing. When it’s done, stick the lemon inside the chicken, along with the herbs. I use rosemary from a bush in my back garden (except in this photo…I think this was coriander).
Stick that beautiful baby in the oven, and turn the heat down to 400F (or 200C). Roast it for 1 hour 20 minutes.
Halfway through, drizzle some of the oil and juices from pan back onto the top of the chicken (that’s called basting). If the vegetables start to get a bit dry on the pan and looking like they’re burning, add 1/4 cup of water.
Once it’s finished roasting, take it out of the oven. It’ll look and smell so beautiful, you’ll want to cry.
You’ll want to rip into it with your bare hands, but it’s not time yet. You must be patient, Daniel-son.
Cover the chicken with aluminum foil, then lay a tea towel over it, and let it rest for 15 minutes.
At that point, you can uncover it, and let it cool for a few minutes until it’s cool enough for you to touch, so you can carve it with a giant knife.
I highly recommend eating a few skin-covered pieces of dark meat. Don’t judge. Just do it. It’s a spiritual experience.