Is there anything more delicious like a roast chicken hot & still bubbling with a tantalizing flavour filling kitchen & dining room – crackling skin, juicy meat falling from the bones…? Really amazing: it’s a roast to be made fast & effortless!
Roast chicken is one of our favourites – while my better half prefers chicken breast I enjoy nibbling chicken legs… It’s no surprise that we roast a chicken now & then!
We like it – well:
- pure – just the chicken w/o any filling & stuffing
- filled w/ fresh lemon slices (our favorite flavour!)
- Mediterranean style w/ lemon & lots of Mediterranean herbs.
(I admit that we didn’t venture in any spicy versions from India or Southeast Asia or… so far, but the day for such a dish may come!)
Let’s start w/ the basics!
The point of origin is always a nice chicken i. e.:
- a free-range chicken or even an organic chicken
- it should weigh at least 1500 g (absolute minimum!) & max 2000 g: I usually opt for a chicken of about 1800 g (if available in my trusted food store).
- it should be clean (no fat lumps in the belly (well: this is more usual for ducks & goose…), no giblets…)
For the record:
I advise strongly against these little chicken of about 900 g or even less, having no real bones & never seen a green pasture. Chicken meat is more flavorful & tasty & tender & juicy when coming from a full grown chicken w/ appropriate feeding.
Don’t forget to preheat your oven to 200° C w/ fan (later you’ll reduce it to 170° C).
When deciding for the „full approach“ we prepare some lemon & some herbs. In this case we had lemon w/ bay leaves for the filling & chopped basil for the stuffing.
Yes – we make room between the skin & the chicken breast by inserting very carefully some fingers & detaching the skin w/o ripping. The chopped basil mixed w/ oil will be stuffed into the gap.
Finally we rub some oil & salt & pepper on chicken breast & back – afterwards we can put the chicken on an oiled roasting tray in the preheated oven.
…& only somewhat later:
My roasting tray is able to host a big chicken (about 1800 g or more) together w/ some vegetables or 2 slightly smaller chicken (about 1600 g or so). Oven times do not change.
You should think about 1,5 h for the chicken:
- preheating… (about 15 min or so): not included!
- doing the 1st chicken breast session: 30 min
- doing the chicken back session: 30 min
- doing the 2nd chicken breast session: 20 min (on average – maybe only 10 min, maybe also 30 min…)
- let the chicken rest for about 10 min after the oven session…
So: if you like to serve a roast chicken at 7 pm sharp start preheating at about 5:15 pm & put the prepared chicken in the oven at 5:30 pm. If everything goes well you’ll keep the deadline (including cum tempore (for RoW territories: 15 min late)).
You should do the wooden skewer test: if the skewer goes in & comes out softly it’s fine – if the liquid of the skewer test is clear it’s fine…
For the record:
Never serve any chicken which isn’t well done!
My proposal of oven temperatures leads to a rather crispy chicken – we like it! If you like it less crispy just reduce the temperature by 10-20 degrees (i. e. starting w/ 180° C & reducing to 160° C later). In general it’s always a cooperation of heat & roast time & weight that leads to a well done chicken more or less crispy. Pls take my timetable as a sort of reference point when starting roasting chicken.
Coming back to the dinner event…
If you serve a chicken of about 1800 g you may be sure that’s enough for 4 people when going together w/ some sort of potatoes & 2 different vegetable dishes. If you like to emphasize the chicken part think of 3 people for such a chicken. (Therefore 2 chicken (of about 1600 g) may feed up to 5-7 people.)
If roasting only 1 chicken there’ll be enough capacity to add small potatoes to the roasting tray. Think about 45-60 min for roasting potatoes depending on their size. In addition you may position your roasting tray in the oven so that you’ll get enough space for 1-2 casseroles (remember: we use an oven w/ fan!). So you may prepare the chicken & casseroles w/ vegetables beforehand & just slide them into the oven at the appropriate time slot.
The businesswoman with too many office hours thinks
Great – it’s just a task of planning like launch planning in a project. I can use my oven for the chicken as well as for the vegetables at the same time – so I’ve more time for my friends.
However, the chicken… lemon chicken sounds good… I can use different herbs (whatever I’ve got recently) meaning different overall flavors. I may adjust the chicken flavour & the vegetables.