Here is a picture of the roast chicken I made a couple of weeks ago. Having never attempted roasting a whole bird before, I was apprehensive at the prospect of the chicken turning out ill-cooked or bleeding and having to throw it out wastefully in the end. But fortunately for me, the roast came out looking a gorgeous golden in color and tasted better than any other I have eaten so far.
Once again I found the recipes online and after much deliberation went for an Indian version of it found on a food blog and further simplified it myself. Here’s what I did to the chicken; peeled the skin away, rinsed it after splashing it with lime and white vinegar, pricked it deep all over, rubbed a marinade of chilli powder, salt and turmeric powder and left it to absorb the flavours for a couple of hours before browning the chicken in a bit of oil and finally baked it in a moderate oven for about an hour and a half. You could, although, choose to stuff the cavity with range of fillings from sage and onion, to boiled eggs and then either tie up its legs and arms with twine or seal the opening with tooth picks.
I am no longer daunted at the prospect of roasting a bird, anymore than I would be when boiling water. If you have been dying to eat a home roasted chicken, but simply have been putting it away like I did for so long, take my advice and just go for it. Here’s a couple of tips you might like to follow if you are roasting a bird for the first time ever.
- Choose a smaller sized bird if you are worried things might go wrong
- You can marinate it with any mix of spices, ready-made or home-made or simply season it with salt, pepper and lemon like I did here
- If leaving the skin on, you could choose to push cloves of garlic, fresh bay or basil leaves and even butter under the skin for better flavour
- Baste the chicken every 15 to 20 minutes and keep turning it over for a crisp exterior
- To check if the chicken is fully cooked, use a meat thermometer or push a skewer down the thickest part of the thigh and see if the juices run clear. If there is any blood or yellowish fluid cook it for a while longer and check again.
Here’s a picture of a big fat chicken Kiev I made for last Christmas, which could be tried as an alternative by those of you who think roasting a full chicken is too daunting. Again, there are plenty of recipes, videos and detailed instructions on how to flatten, stuff and bread a chicken Kiev on a zillion websites and blogs. This is what my Kiev looked like..