I used to buy roasted chicken conveniently from our local supermarket deli section. Those were lazy days when I kept cooking really simple. I would tear the chicken meat into shreds and toss them onto a simple plate of tomato based spaghetti with salad on the side. The only lack I find of the roasted chicken from the deli, is the shriveled up, dehydrated bird. I decided that I could do a better job roasting from home and give the flavor more ooomph!
I love how mine turned out looking plumped and moist, especially on the breast meat. My family and I don't really like chicken breast meat because it is usually very dry. But this roast chicken recipe proved otherwise. I found out that rubbing butter under the chicken skin will keep the meat tender because while it is roasting, the butter is absorbed into the meat. Makes sense? It also helps with the nice browning on the skin.
The milk idea in this recipe is adapted from Jamie Oliver. It gives a slightly curdled, caramelized, and flavorful sauce which is absorbed in the vegetables. I think this also helps ensure that the vegetables do not get burnt and dry out during the roasting process.
Preparation time : 15 minutes Cooking time : 1 hr 30 mins Serves : 3-4
About 1 - 1.2 kg chicken
2 medium sized onion, sliced
1 large potato,skinned and sliced
1 medium carrot, skinned and sliced
1 lemon, sliced
1 cup of milk
2 tbsp butter, soften
2 tbsp mixed herbs (I use the brand "Masterfoods" readily available at the spice section)
1 tbsp salt
- pre heat oven at 170 degree celcius
- prepare a pan, size enough to fit the chicken. I've used a 9" round baking tin. Place the sliced potatoes, carrot and onions on the base. Give the vegetables a toss with some olive oil.
- Slip and spread out the butter under the chicken skin on both sides of the chicken.
- Rub the herbs, salt and pepper on the inside cavity of the chicken and the outside. I've added more lemon slices into the cavity as well for the extra zesty flavor.
- Pour the milk into the pan before placing the chicken on top.
- Into the oven it goes for 1.5 hours at 170 degree celcius. In between roasting, baste the juices from the pan and drizzle it on the chicken. I did this twice.
- At the halfway mark, I turned the chicken to the other side so that the bottom part will get it's equal share of nicely browned skin.
- When it's done, put a foil over the chicken and let it rest for a while before serving.
Tips : You can pull the meat off the bones and serve it on a bed of salad or mashed potatoes too! Also, do not waste the chicken bones. Freeze it and use it to boil soup on the next occasion you cook!