Have I mentioned that I have an obsession with food? I mean really, I think I have a problem. While most people my age think about watching the footy or heading into the city for a few pints, I’m sitting there thinking about food and what restaurant I want to try next. When my girlfriend mentions she is at the shops I ask her to pick up a new cookbook and two cans of coconut cream… who does that? Me that’s who!
As the old saying goes ‘you are what you eat’ and we spend a large part of our lives eating food, so why not enjoy it and make it deliciously tasty, sometimes naughty, sometimes healthy and always real food. Let’s avoid the processed crap that fills the supermarket shelves and eat real food and use dinner time to spend with your loved ones. Even if you are time poor I’m sure you can find one day a week to sit down with your partner, pull out the candles and have a romantic dinner for two, or switch off the telly and have a nice family meal at the table. I read an article the other day that gave me a nice warm fuzzy feeling and it means good news for all the aussies who shop at woollies (aka Woolworths). The great man Jamie Oliver and Woolworths have teamed up to inspire a healthier Australia, and there are all ready plans in place to remove all caged eggs from the shelves and only provide fresh RSPCA approved chickens. If you haven’t read the article I recommend heading over to Jamieoliver.com and checking it out.
OK that’s enough rambling for one day, it’s time to inspire you all to get in the kitchen with this classic simple roast chook. Let’s face it roast chicken has to be one of the all-time family favourites, shared across millions of tables around the world. It’s simple and it’ll leave everyone who eats it impressed by your skills. Below you will find a classic flavour combination of lemon and thyme, but you don’t have to stick to it! Put on your creative hat and think outside the box, introduce the flavours of Asia, Mexico, Italy, Morocco and the list goes on. Get creative and tell me what your favourite combination is, even better take a picture and send it to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Instagram it with #inspiredroastchook I’d love to hear from you!
The Classic Roast Chook: Lemon and Thyme
Serves 4 Prep time: 15 minutes Total Cooking time 1 hour 35 minutes
What you’ll need:
- 1.5kg whole chicken (go free range or RSPCA approved)
- 1 lemon
- 1 handful fresh thyme
- salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- 2 onions, quartered
- 2 carrots, halved length ways
- 6 cloves of garlic, skin on and bashed with the side of a knife
- Preheat the oven to 200’c
- Pat dry the chicken with paper towel, and then give a good rub all over with the olive oil (really get in there and massage!).
- Season well with salt and pepper (back and front) then grate the zest of the lemon all over the chicken and rub it into the skin. Use 2/3rds of the thyme leaves and sprinkle them all over the chicken too.
- Place the lemon in a bowl and stab it a few times with a knife, then microwave for 40 seconds so it’s nice and hot. Place the lemon up the backside of the chicken (There’s really no nice way of putting that!) along with the remainder of the thyme.
- Place the onion, carrot and garlic in a roasting tray and add some olive oil and a splash of water or white wine if you have it (this will stop the veggies burning).
- Place the chicken on top of the veggies. Place the chicken in the oven legs first so the chicken breast is protected from the heat of the fan as the breast cooks quicker than the legs.
- Cook the chicken for one hour and twenty minutes (put your roast veggies in with 45 minutes to go) or until the internal temperature is 65’c and let the chicken rest for a good 15 minutes loosely covered in foil. (should bring the internal temperature up to 75’c). You can rest the chicken upside down to allow the juices to run through the breast but this will sacrifice any crispy skin so the choice is yours.
- Use the 15 minutes to whip up a quick gravy, Remove most of the oil from the roasting try, but keep the as much of the cooking juice as you can, Place the roasting pan over a medium heat, add a splash of white wine, stock or water and a tablespoon of flour (use a sieve to avoid lumps). Mix well and mash up the onions, carrots and garlic and cook until desired consistency.
For the cooking time, use a rough guide of 25 minutes per 500g of chicken.