I have missed out the last couple of posts from the blogger challenge due to other things going on so this is my first post in a while. This month’s topic was on food and even though I like my food I wasn’t sure what would be the best route to go down, do I write about my favourite takeaway, restaurant, things I’ve baked or cooked? As I have left it a bit late in the day to do my blog post (it needs to go up in the next couple of days) I decided since it was Sunday to write about the Sunday Roast that I am cooking today………..Roast Chicken!!
We don’t often have a roast dinner that often but I fancied having one this week. I like roast pork & beef but I don’t “do” lamb as I find it quite a strong, bitter meat. One thing that I won’t compromise on with my meat is that it has to be free range or organic. I saw “Hugh’s Chicken Run”, a tv programme by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall a few years back about how chickens were intensively farmed. It was actually quite an eye opener and since watching that programme I have never bought a chicken unless it was free range. They might be a bit more expensive but I’d prefer to know that they had a happy life rather than being cooped up in a shed with no natural light, encouraged to over eat so they get bigger quicker, no environmental enrichment and are normally slaughtered before they are 40 days old. Even if your budget doesn’t stretch to free range there are higher welfare products out there such as Freedom Foods at a cheaper price.
Garlic Bulb (cut in half widthways)
2 Sticks of Celery (chopped into quarters)
2 Carrots (chopped into quarters)
Onion (chopped into quarters)
Lemon (cut into quarters)
Salt & Pepper
Fresh herbs (I used Rosemary but Thyme works just as well)
How to cook
First of all remove your chicken from the fridge and remove the packaging for around 30 minutes, this helps it to reach room temperature which is better for cooking. During this time I cut up the veg and a lemon. I placed the veg into my Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker (this is very good for cooking the chicken and keeping it moist, also I never paid this for the product as I hosted a party and got to choose a certain amount of products for free due to the sales I made) and drizzled with olive oil.
I placed the chicken on top of the veg and drizzled with olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, put half a lemon inside the chicken and put a quarter on either side of the breast, placed the herbs on the top and bunged it into the pre-heated oven (Fan oven 170 degrees Celsius) for the time required.
Always cook your chicken for the time stated per weight of the bird. For the last 30 minutes of cooking I removed the lid so the skin could get crispy. To check that it’s fully cooked, insert a skewer or something sharp like a knife tip into the fleshiest part of the leg and ensure that the juices run clear, if there is any sign of blood, cook your chicken for longer. Once cooked, remove your chicken and allow it to rest for at least 15 minutes or longer as this allows the meat to retain the juices. If you cut into it without being rested you risk the meat being dry and tough.
I served this with sausagemeat balls, potato croquettes, vegetables and gravy. I will use the rest of the chicken to make a chicken & leek pie later on in the week and also for soup.
If you have a cat or dog please do not feed it the chicken due to the garlic used in cooking as this can cause them to be very ill!
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