Friday, December 20, 2013

Athene's Roast Chicken

Roast chicken must be one of the easiest dish that you can make in about an hour. You can even have a one pot meal if you plan the dish properly, adding some roots such as potatoes, pumpkins, carrots or sweet potatoes to be roasted in the same pan making a complete meal with so little hassle. It will also make it's own gravy if you do it correctly.

Some of you may ask, why do I cut the chicken along the backbone instead of the usual way it's done which is to cut on the breast side.
Cutting this way makes sure that the breast doesn't lose too much of it's juice during roasting. If you see from the photo, the whole breast is in one big piece, no cut at all, hence the part that's usually brushed off as being dry in a roast chicken will still be plump and juicy.

Don't be put off by the strong acidic smell of the balsamic vinegar. It will bake into a molasses-like texture, lending a fragrant fruity caramel flavor to the dish. I'm sure once you've tried it, you'll want to include it in most of your dishes.

Athene's Simple Roast Chcken

1 whole chicken, uncut, about 1.5kg
2 tbsp Lemon Lime Pepper Salt 
or 
2 tbsp (or more) Hot Chick Spicy Salt
4 tbsp of date vinegar /balsamic vinegar
2 whole head of garlic
2 onion
50g butter, cut into cubes

Directions :

  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees C.
  2. Wash and clean the chicken. Using a sharp knife or kitchen scissors, cut on the backbone to flatten the chicken. Remove the neck if you wish.
  3. Cut the top off the heads of garlic, making sure every clove is cut. Peel onion, cut a cross half way down the onion, be careful not to cut all the way through.
  4. Crush the spice salt, rub all over the chicken. Try to slip in some of the spices under the chicken skin, just be careful not to tear the skin. Spare about a teaspoon of the spice salt.
  5. Drizzle the chicken with the balsamic vinegar, massage gently.
  6. Place the chicken in your baking dish, skin side up. Pack the garlic cloves and onions in the pan with the chicken.
  7. Sprinkle the remaining spice salt on the garlic cloves and onion. Spoon the remaining marinate all over the chicken and onion.
  8.  Dot butter cubes all over chicken
  9. Roast for 55 minutes, or until juice runs clear.
  10.  Remove the chicken from the oven, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving.
  11. Serve with the roasted onion and garlic. Great sides will be roasted toots vegetables or homemade mash potatoes and fresh tomato and greens salad

Marinated chicken and pumpkin on cookie rack ready for roasting

Roasting away, the balsamic vinegar working it's magic

All done, now just to give it a rest for 15 minutes. Check out the dripping that will be gravy for the roasted chicken!

The roast chicken, pumpkin with the gravy.
Note #1 : Use a cookie rack in the baking dish, place the chicken plus garlic and onions on top of it. This will help the chicken remain crispy while you don't miss on the brilliantly delicious dripping that will make great gravy.

Note #2 : You can roast some root vegetables in the baking dish along with your chicken. Cut the roots into equal size, you can use  pumpkin, carrots, sweet or regular potato, add a bit more of the marinate, make sure you rub them all over and roast.
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