Ok. The best is a bold claim to make but seriously, this chicken is the best for two reasons. One it tastes bloody delicious and the second reason is that it is stupidly easy. This meal has become a weekly regular at our house with the leftovers used in salads for lunches. I know some ‘Roast Traditionalists’ are going to question the fact that I claim it is the best roast given it is without gravy but the seasoning on the bird and cooking the veggies in the same dish, makes sure everything packs a flavour punch.
If you are all about eating skinless lean bland chicken breast let me remind you of a couple of things. Meat is consistently a 100 times better when cooked on the bone. Always more flavoursome and tender. Eating the whole animal is a lot less wasteful, a hell of a lot more economical and you can reuse the bones for stock. Want more reasons about why eating the whole bird is right decision – read this. Now you go to the shops, buy a chicken and get crackin!
The Best Roast Chicken
Serves 4-6 people
1.6kg Free Range Happy Chicken (can be larger you will just need to adjust the cooking time)
½ teaspoon good quality Salt
1.5 tablespoon Fennel seeds
4 tablespoons Butter, softened
Small bunch of Thyme
1 head of Garlic
Mixed roast veggies – I love parsnips, sweet potato pumpkin, potato, swede and Brussel sprouts. Prep all your veg and toss in a cooking oil of your choice
1. Heat oven to 220 degrees C
2. Wipe the inside and the outside of the bird with paper towel. Rinse the inside if there are still some freaky bits lingering.
3. Place the chicken in a large oven roasting dish – the largest that will fit your oven as you want to roast bird and veggies together. I also like to line the try with baking paper, making life a little easier with cleaning.
4. Using your fingers separate the skin from the breast of the bird and also from the thighs. Then squish the softened butter into the breast and thigh. If you are confused – please refer to this youtube video!
5. Now halve your lemon and the head of garlic, shove this up the chickens backside with a few springs of thyme. Arrange the roasted vegetables around your chicken, with the other head of garlic and squeeze over the juice of the other lemon.
6. Finally, place the fennel seeds and salt in mortar and pestle and grind until a powder. Sprinkle this all over the bird, especially the breast. Season the whole lot with pepper, sprinkle over some extra thyme leaves and place in the oven.
7. Cook the bird at 220 degrees C for 15minutes then drop the temperature 180 degrees C and cook for a further hour and 10-15 minutes. I normally give the veggies a turn mid way through. To check the bird is cooked, insert a knife into the where the thigh intersects with main body of the chicken and the juices should run clear.
8. Allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving. Make sure you serve with some of the juices from the roasting pan and of course… the delicious skin. Oh and probably some sort of greenery.
This recipe is FODMAP friendly – provided you don’t eat the garlic and cook FODMAP friendly veggies eg. no onion.
To make this dairy free – use animal fat in place of the butter – goose or duck fat would work well. You may just want a little less.