Wednesday, 22 June 2016

My tips for the perfect Roast Chicken & a top tip to me from Michel Roux Jr!

Hi Guys  

CHICKEN is all i would eat growing up!  My parents told me and i remember, that everywhere i went, all i would eat from a menu was Chicken!  Happy to say, I've come a long way since then!
However, i still love chicken.  And for me, there's nothing better than a good Roast Chicken dinner.

A Roast chicken can go along way too.  Make the most out of it.

  • Use leftovers for curry or sambos for lunch
  • Use the carcass for making stock

I had the privilege in asking Michelin Star chef and Masterchef judge Michel Roux Jr a question in a Q&A once.  I asked him:

"When you have family time and are home, what do you like to cook for dinner?"

His answer?: 

"Alot of time is spent on the road and eating out but when home it would be a Roast dinner like Chicken - but not just any Roast chicken, make it the BEST roast chicken you have ever made!".

So, with a top tip from a Michelin Chef, i make my roasts the BEST I've done! ~Everytime!
There are many many ways to cook the "perfect" roast and for me it's whatever works for you and whatever flavours you and your family prefer.
Whichever way you like your roast tasting, here are a few simple tips that may help you in creating the best outcome and that work well for me.

adjust steps/times with the meat size. Smaller - less, larger - more.
For these steps, i am using a small chicken. 

    Making sure you have a good quality chicken.  And i usually buy mine prepared and washed already.  Otherwise you must clean out the cavity and wash it thoroughly.
    Make a  tasty stuffing and fill your chicken with a lemon half and 2 cloves of garlic, to give it flavour and create moisture.
    I make a simple stuffing by taking breadcrumbs and adding seasoning; herbs; garlic; butter and oil, forming a mould and stuffing the cavity of the chicken.
    You can close the cavity with some tooth pics to make sure it doesn't escape.
     Brush some melted butter and oil (helps brown), i use flora cuisine, over the chicken and season with salt; pepper; rosemary and thyme.
    The skin protects the chicken from drying.  Seasoning the skin will make the skin tasty and create great juices for your basting and gravy.  It will not however season the chicken meat.  So if you want this, you would need to create a butter and season mix and push it up under the skin to coat.

    Make a slit through the skin of the top of the legs.  This will help it cook through and give you an indication of cooking progress.  Optional.


    Add a little water to your roasting dish to give moisture and prevent the chicken from sticking.  It adds liquid for your juices also.  Just enough water to coat base of dish.


    I start my chicken roasting at 200 degrees for the first 20 minutes, baste the meat and then turn the heat to 180 for remaining time.  Depending of the size of the meat, the small chicken takes about 1 hour - 1hr 10mins.  Adjust time according to size and by checking the meat.

    For me, this is an important step.  Basting means using the meat juices to pour over the chicken throughout the roasting process.  It flavours it and prevents it from drying out.  These juices at the end will be great for making your gravy.

  8. COVER:
    If you find the meat is browning too much and may burn, you can cover it with tin foil while roasting.
    There are many ways to see if your meat is cooked and ready.  My steps are by slicing further down into the leg - the juices should run clear, there should be no trace of pink/red.  To double check, i cut through the breast part also.  You may use a temperature stick also.
  10. REST:
    Once you are happy the chicken is cooked through, set it aside to rest for 10-20 minutes, covering it firmly with tin foil to absorb all those juices and to remain moist before carving and serving your perfectly cooked chicken and stuffing.
  11. GRAVY:
    I think a thick flavoursome gravy is a must for a Roast chicken dinner!  Use the juices the chicken has produced and pour them into a saucepan to make the gravy, along with any other juices you may have from cooking your roast.  You can use granules or a beef gravy stock pot to make your sauce. 

"Make it the BEST roast you've ever made!"
Chef Michel Roux Jr

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