Before you read this, I recommend letting this chicken sit for at least 6 hours, if not overnight. This is not quick chicken; this is great chicken.
I’m late to the roast chicken party. I am slightly mournful when I listen to Nigella talking about the romantic notion of the “ceremony” and “religious” iconography of a family gathering around a golden hen. However, I would argue that the steak pies, beef olives and mince I grew up with, while a little less majestic, are equally as glorious.
Enough poultry rabbling. My thoughts on chicken;
- Cutting a lemon and stuffing it up its butt does nothing. Same for garlic. It makes your kitchen smell nice, but it doesn’t actually give the meat any flavour.
- Vegetables let off steam when you cook them in the oven. If you roast your whole chicken on vegetables, the bottom third of your chicken will be slimy. Considering that’s where the bulk of tendons and joints are on your bird, only masochists should continue this practice.
- Chicken is forgiving, but stop guessing when it’s done. Get a digital thermometer and pull your chicken our the oven when the breast reaches 75 degrees centigrade. Check your breasts; Good rule for chicken, good rule for life.
This recipe uses a bronzing liquid to give flavour and colour. I swear you’ll make one every time you cook a chicken from now on.
- 1.5kg whole Chicken
- salt and pepper to cover entire bird
- 75g unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
- 1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 1 garlic cloves
- 1 large strip of orange zest
- Pat the outside of the chicken dry with a paper towel.
- Season the entire bird with salt and pepper. Don’t miss an inch; In the cavity, under the wings.
- Truss the chicken with twine. Google it.
- Leave the chicken, uncovered, in the fridge for at least 6 hours. 24 hours works better. The chicken will look dry and blotchy. Don’t worry. Ensure that you remove the chicken from the fridge at least 1 hour before you cook.
- Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Centigrade
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and set a baking rack on top or use a roasting pan with a roasting rack.
- Coat the chicken with olive oil (Don’t use extra virgin) and place in the preheated oven.
- In a saucepan, bring to a simmer the vinegar, honey, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, garlic, orange zest, and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until bubbling and slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to lowest setting and keep glaze warm.
- After 30 minutes, take the bird out and generously baste with the bronzing liquid. I use 2 inch wide painters brush.
- Return the chicken to the oven for another 30 minutes
- Repeat the baste and also take the temperature. A bird of this size should take 90 minutes, but i’d check the breast a couple of times in the last half hour.
- Remove from oven and allow to settle uncovered for at least 20 minutes. This will ensure your chicken stays juicy.
- Eat the dam chicken. You earned it.