Any sort of roast is great family meal and often a traditional Sunday night dinner. Roast chicken is one that we actually don’t have that often as lamb, pork or beef are usually preferred. Whenever I do a roast chicken, I like to add some flavour to it, this time it was lemon, thyme and garlic, which is a pretty common combination. By including the lemon inside the chicken and the butter, garlic, lemon and thyme paste under the skin, it ensures that the meat stay juicy and doesn’t dry out.
Roast chicken lends itself nicely to an array of uses for the leftovers – chicken sandwiches, pies, pizza or in this case I will use the leftovers, carcass and all to make chicken stock and then a chicken and vegetable soup – posts coming soon.
We cooked this chook on the rotisserie of our Weber, which might I say, is AMAZING, but it can be cooked with just as good results in an oven – allow 20-30 minutes per 500g of chicken, aiming for an internal temperature of 80°C (if you have a thermometer) in the leg joint of the chicken, or until the juices run clear, not pink. The temperature of the chicken will increase a good 5°C or more when left to rest under foil.
No roast is complete without gravy and the best gravies are those made from the juices of the roast. Once you have tried gravy this way, you will not return to the packet gravies, trust me! Yes, a gravy made this way can be high in fat (especially when the butter from under this chicken skin has dripped off) but you can quite easily skim most of the fat off and you will be left with flavour.
As far as size of chicken goes, it depends on what you plan on doing with the leftovers. I used a 2kg chicken for 2 adults and 2 little kids. This was enough for us with just the right amount leftover for chicken soup.
My kids go crazy for a roast and can often polish off more of the roast meat than me. And the gravy, they love the gravy.
- 1 free range chicken
- 2 tbs butter, softened
- 4 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed and roughly chopped
- Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
- 1 lemon
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tbs plain flour
- 1 chicken stock cube
- Preheat oven to 180°C and have a baking tray ready.
- In a small bowl, combine butter, garlic, lemon zest and thyme. Mix well to combine.
- Using your hands, scoop up small amounts of butter mixture and spread under the skin of the chicken, trying to get as much of the chicken covered as possible and being careful not to break the skin.
- Wash hands and cut the lemon in half and place into the cavity of the chicken. Tie legs up with cooking twine.
- Drizzle olive oil over the skin of the chicken, rub into the skin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place onto baking tray and cook for 20-30 minutes per 500g of chicken or until juices run clear.
- Once cooked, remove from the oven and place onto another tray, cover with foil and allow to rest for ~10 minutes.
- To make the gravy, place the roasting pan, with the juices onto the hot plate. Skim off any excess fat or oil, using a spoon.
- Add flour and crumbled stock cube to the chicken juices and use a spatula to rub the dry ingredients into the juice to make a paste. Add ~1/2 a cup of water and stir to thin out the paste. Turn the heat onto low and continue stirring. Add another 1/2 a cup of water and stir. Continue adding water until your gravy is of desired quantity and consistency.
NOTE: If you have added to much water, you can thicken up the gravy by continuing to cook the gravy, allowing it to reduce, or you can mix a little bit more flour with some water and add this to the gravy.