It’s been almost exactly a year since I blogged how I cook roast chicken. There have been a lot of chookies on our dinner table since then! Untrue to form, I’ve not fiddled too much with the method and added extra flavourings as it’s just so darn good the way it is there isn’t much necessity to reinvent the wheel. That being said, sometimes ringing the changes with an old, apparently perfect favourite is good for us home cooks, pretentions to the Master Chef throne or not ;).
Hungry Hubby requested a roast chicken for dinner today partly I suspect to keep me out of his way whilst the football was on the tele but to be fair, I am happiest in the kitchen when at home so it was no hardship! I fancied something on the oriental spectrum so this is what I came up with. Sticky Soy, Lime & Roasted Garlic Chicken.
Sticky soy, lime and roasted garlic chicken. Now, I won’t be rehashing the whole method and direct you instead to my Poulet Perfection a la Heston post to read about it. Essentially, you cook the chicken very low and painfully slow, finishing with a brief rest period as the oven heats up and the whichever veg you want to go alongside cooks, bunging the chicken into the super hot oven to crisp the skin and ensure it is piping, piping hot.
The health and safety brigade will want you to cook chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 75°C but Heston (Blumenthal, of The Fat Duck fame) gives directions to cook it to only 60°C. You must do what you feel comfortable with. I have a foodie friend who makes this chicken frequently and has used supermarket birds as well as fancy pants organic ones and swears blind the method is so good, it matters not what the provenance of your poultry is.
I buy, at least, free range if not organic as this is a treat meal and I want to give us a little of the good stuff (eases my conscious about eating meat too). Again, do as you please.
We ate this salty, sour, sweet and smoky bird with (now do bare with me, it’s not as mad as it sounds) cauliflower cheese plus some sweet potato, carrots and onions sprinkled with ground cumin with a couple of star anise in the roasting pan for good measure. Now, Hubs wanted the cauli and I wanted something a bit fresher and lighter tasting than all that butter and Marsala, delicious though they may be from my original recipe.
And actually, it worked very well indeed all that creamy cheesy sauce with nothing but some mustard powder, nutmeg and mace (my trifecta of flavour when making a béchamel or white sauce) to flavour the cruciferous veg against the punchy Asian palate of the chicken. I am looking forward to tomorrow’s lunch with some leftover chicken in that freshly baked loaf I eluded to before.
The astute of you may also notice a lemon-lime bundt cake in the background. A slender slice was the perfect rounding off to this refreshingly different springtime roast dinner.
- 1 head of garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil plus extra to drizzle
- 1-2 tsp fresh ginger grated finely
- 2 limes – zest of one juice of 2
- 1-2 tsp dark soy
- 1 tsp dark brown sugar*
- One whole chicken skin still on
- *= I used coconut blossom sugar as I wanted to try it out but any soft brown sugar palm sugar or even honey would work here to balance the sour and the saltiness of the other ingredients
Slice the head off the bulb of garlic and pop in a small ramekin with a drizzle of oil over the exposed cloves.
Roast at 180°C for about 40 minutes until the garlic is super soft, sweet and mellow. Set aside to cool. (Note you can do this a day ahead and pop it in the fridge; I was baking bread so put it in with the loaf to rationalise using the oven not just for a bulb of garlic!).
Squeeze out the softened garlic and mix to a thick paste with all the other ingredients bar the juice of lime number two.
Loosen the skin over the chicken breasts and spoon/pour half of the marinade under the skin.
Season the outside of the bird then drizzle with a little more oil or butter as liked.
Pop the lime husks into the cavity of the bird. Waste not, want not!
Cook as directed in previous recipe OR simply roast your chicken via your preferred method.
15 minutes before the end of cooking add the juice from the second lime to the reserved marinade and paint over the pale but cooked chicken. Return to the oven and cook until the glaze becomes sticky and the skin crispens up almost like a crispy duck. Rest for at least ten minutes before slicing and serving.
See the link for the recipe for Perfect Roast Chicken to get my method.
P.s. I think this would work beautifully with chicken pieces instead of the whole bird, maybe even on the BBQ. Do try it and let me know how it goes.
Here’s a link to The Pioneer Woman’s Lemon Lime Pound Cake if the above picture has made you restless with desire as Ree’s original post did to me ;)