Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Best Roast Chook EVER (thanks Delia)

'If it ain't broke, don't fix it' is a phrase I generally live by, but as long as you keep it simple with a good roast chicken, a few variations won't hurt I reckon. On Sunday I fancied a mini re-vamp of our usual, there was nothing wrong with it, but there is another phrase I like: 'A change is a good as a holiday'. Perhaps a bit dramatic when describing a Sunday Roast but variety is the spice of life and all that. I will stop now.
and devour...
This is Queen Delia's recipe, I am yet to fail with one of her creations, she might not go too mental, and she might keep it all rather serene, but I grew up on her recipes and hope to grow old on them. I can always turn to Heston when a nervous breakdown is what I require in the kitchen anyway.

It's always a good idea to take the chicken out of the fridge an hour before cooking so it can warm up a bit. Not in a potential food poisoning kind of way, just to bring it to room temperature. Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees. Take a big casserole dish (careful when taking out the le Creuset, don't nearly do your back in or drop it on your toes) and on a medium heat, melt a slab of butter and add to this a splash of olive oil. Brown the chicken all over, it will take about 10 minutes, the bottom and top is easy, you can just leave it while you peek at Come Dine With Me on the telly, but for the sides, just use tongs to hold it in place while it goes all golden. Take the chicken out of the pan and put aside. Throw in approx 30 (yes, 30) un-peeled (phew) cloves of garlic and a couple of rosemary sprigs and stir around. Replace chicken in the pan and pour a large glass of white wine around the chicken. Bring to a simmer, meanwhile season the chicken really well and sprinkle with a big tbsp of chopped rosemary. Cover the lid with a double thickness piece of foil and then put the lid on over that, ensuring a tight seal. Put in the oven for about 1 hour 15 minutes (this all depends on the size of the chicken, this one was quite big). Go wild with the smell that comes out after about 10. Remove the lid and return to the oven for another 15 mins to re-crisp the skin. Take out and rest for 10 minutes before carving. Serve with the heavenly garlicky gravy at the bottom of the pan, not forgetting the now very soft cloves, squeeze the sweet juicy pulp them all over your roasties. Thanks be to Delia.

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