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The Most Perfect Chicken Roast Dinner
Servings: 4
Author: Just Jo
Ingredients
  • One free range +/- chicken spoil yourself and buy the best you can afford
  • 1 tbsp heaped of soft butter
  • A lime or lemon
  • A sprig of rosemary or thyme
  • 2-3 garlic cloves smashed a little with the flat of a knife
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • A selection of veg to roast
  • A meat thermometer
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 120°C.
  2. Rub the butter over the chicken then season well.
  3. Sprinkle in your herbs into the cavity of the bird and toss in the garlic.
  4. Slice the citrus of your choice and squeeze it a little into the cavity, throw in the halved fruit.
  5. Ensure the trussing string has been removed and spread the legs wide to allow air circulation and even cooking of the chicken – I used my Le Creuset buffet casserole dish as its suitable to use on the hob later to start the veg off.
  6. Cook for 90 minutes before removing from the oven to check the temperature of the fattest part of the breast (don’t poke it so deep it touches the one as this will read hotter than the flesh). You’re aiming for 60°C (my 1.4kg bird needed 2.5 hours to reach 60°C – simply return to the oven and check at 30 minute intervals to ensure it does not over cook).
  7. Baste with the juices each time you remove it from the oven to test the temperature.
  8. Once at 60°C in the fattest part of the breast with clear running juices, remove from the oven and sit on a rack uncovered for 45 minutes to rest – drain off all the juices from the chook and reserve in the dish you cooked it in to do the veg.
  9. Meanwhile, turn the oven up as hot as it will go.
  10. Bring the juices to a bubble on the stove top and carefully toss in some vegetables – baby courgettes, quartered onions, baby carrots and parsnips then some cubed potatoes is a lovely combination.
  11. Add a few bay leaves and dried herbs of your choice (I went with a little sage, rosemary and a pinch of oregano) then season and cook in this hot oven for 45 minutes as the chicken rests.
  12. Now, pop the chicken on a oven tray and return to this hot oven for 10-15 minutes to bronze up the skin – you could use a blow torch if you like instead (the ones from a DIY shop are better than a cook’s one as they are more powerful and it will therefore brown faster). This ensures you get the heavenly match of perfectly cooked, moist meat and crisp, golden delicious roast chicken skin.
  13. Keep the veg hot by putting on the bottom of the oven as the chicken browned – cover with a lid or foil as necessary to prevent them getting too brown.
  14. Slice thinly and serve with your veg, spooning over any juices left if you wish.
Recipe Notes

P.s. a new veg side dish I’m loving is finely sliced white cabbage cooked in a little chicken stock until tender and the stock evaporated followed by a crushed clove of garlic, a dab of butter and sliced green beans seasoned with red chilli flakes. I cook it in a small sauce pan and it only takes ten minutes and makes a spikey spicy lip smacking delicious side dish for meats and fish of all kinds!

Adapted from Heston Blumenthal's book Heston At Home