Roast chicken with herbs

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Ingredients

Serves 5

 

  • Whole chicken (1.8kg)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil and oregano
  • 2 teaspoons rapeseed oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 large pinch salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 knob of butter

Timings

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 35 minutes plus resting time

Roast chicken with herbs

Mmmmm… I don’t often stuff the breast of a roast chicken as I find that the fatty skin next to the breast keeps it succulent. However, today I had a real craving for herbs and chicken and a beautiful bird waiting to roast. So, I thought why not as I was curious to see if it did dry out. Oh boy, how wrong was I! This is THE most succulent and delicious roast chicken recipe. Bursting with deep flavours, aromatic freshness and caramelised juices. Absolutely the bomb of all roast chickens.

Method

Preheat the oven to 180/350/gas 4.

Place the chicken in a small-medium sized roasting dish. In a bowl, mix together the chopped herbs, rapeseed oil, pinch of salt and a good grind of pepper.

Using your hands, very carefully push your fingers up between the flesh of the breast and the skin, from the cavity towards the neck being careful not to rip the skin. Make the gap between the breast and skin as long as you can to get as close the the neck as possible, leaving the skin barrier between the two breasts intact.

Next place half of the herb mixture into the empty gap, smearing the mixture as evenly as you can over the breast. Repeat in the second breast with the remaining herb mixture.

Finally, smear the butter over the skin of the chicken and season well with salt and pepper.

Cook for 1 hour 30 minutes. You can tell if the chicken is cooked by cutting slashes between the leg and the body. If the juices are still pink then return it to the oven and cook for a further 5 minutes, or until the juices in the leg run clear.

Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 5-15 minutes. Serve with roasted sweet potatoes and mixed greens. The juices make an incredible gravy. I like it just as it is, but thicken it with flour if you like.

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The part of a bird which takes longest to cook is between the leg and the body of a chicken, making it the best place to check to see if the chicken is cooked. You can tell when it is cooked when the juices here run clear and the meat is whitey brown. If there is any pink juice, then return to the oven for 5 minutes at a time and keep checking until the juice is clear”.

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