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Juicy Roast Chicken

Prep 2 minutes | Cook 1 hour 20 minutes | Total 1½ hours

Roast chicken is really very easy, and this will be the juiciest roast chicken you have ever tasted. The secret is cooking the chicken upside down which helps to keep the juices in the breast and the chicken moist. For aesthetic purposes, I start the chicken breast side up and brown the top, then turn it over. I have suggested you cook two roast chickens, so you will have dinner sorted for another night during the week. And what would a roast chicken be without the gravy. This gravy has a subtle lemon flavour, perfectly complementing the chicken.

An effortlessly juicy roast chicken is more than just a Sunday feast. I often cook a roast chicken during the week because it is so easy. But I must admit, I do feel guilty sometimes when the family raves about the meal and how special it is, as if I have been preparing it all day.

Chicken is the most popular weeknight meal, and there is no wonder it is so prevalent on the weekday table – it is easy to cook, quick, healthy and tastes great. Whether you are a seasoned cook, or a kitchen novice, you can’t go wrong with chicken and there are so many ways you can enjoy it, with many flavours from around the world.

When leftover cooked chicken is cool, store in an airtight container or zip-lock bag and refrigerate within an hour of cooking. You can keep cooked chicken safely in the fridge for three days, or in the freezer for three months. Before freezing, divide large amounts into smaller containers or zip-lock bags for future ease.

Why not use the leftover chicken on a quick Barbecued Chicken Pizza later in the week. Delish!

Roast Chicken

  • 2 chickens
  • 2 lemons, cut into quarters
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • salt and pepper
  • 2–3 tablespoons cornflour
  • Serves 8 (4 + more)
Preheat oven to 240°C. Place a wire rack over a deep baking tray and fill tray with water until just below the rack (make sure the chickens are not touching the water). Place a small strip of baking paper down the middle of the rack to stop the chicken skin from sticking. Fill the cavities of the chickens with the cut lemon and thyme and place chickens (starting breast side up) on the rack. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in oven for 20 minutes.

Remove tray from the oven, turn chickens over and put them back on the rack, breast side down. Then reduce the temperature to 190°C and cook for a further hour or until the juices run clear. When cooked remove from oven, cover and rest for 10 minutes.

To make gravy, remove fat from the juices (see tip) and bring juices to the boil. Take 2–3 tablespoons of the juices and mix with 2 tablespoons of cornflour in a cup. Return to tray and stir over medium heat until the gravy thickens slightly (3–4 minutes), scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the tray. To thicken gravy add more cornflour using the same method. If you wish, strain gravy through a sieve into a gravy boat.

Serve with any of the salads in this book. Or try it with roast cherry tomatoes, roast pumpkin and steamed green beans.

One Response to “Juicy Roast Chicken”

  1. seo August 17, 2015 at 2:09 pm #

    Hello hello table. I had never heard of turning a chicken upside down and so I tried it. You’re right, it was so moist and cooked perfectly. Absolute genius. Only problem is there were no left overs because we couldn’t stop eating it. 🙂

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