I rely on chicken as an easy dinner that everyone in the family likes; as a busy working mother with three school-age children (Ykaie and my two nieces Cyra and Cyvrine), it’s the easiest meat to cook. Here’s my take on the most classic of chicken recipes. Believe me, this formula has been honed over many years of chicken roasting!
Roast Chicken and Gravy
VERY HOT OVEN: I roast my chicken in an extra high oven (220) for about an hour and twenty minutes for a medium-sized bird. I do let it rest for 20 minutes at the end, so this probably contributes to the cooking process. The meat stays moist, but the skin is crisp.
BREAST-SIDE DOWN & UNTRUSSED: I always place the bird breast-side down and remove the string trussing. I also score the thighs to help them cook at the same pace as the breast. I often also sprinkle a stock cube over and season with plenty of salt and pepper.
WIRE-RACK GRAVY: I place the chicken on a wire rack in the roasting tray and poor a cup of water below this to stop the fat from smoking. You need to top this up, or your oven will smoke like crazy. You can add other flavours such as wine/garlic/herbs/lemon/carrots etc to this to make good gravy. Just strain the lot at the end, and whisk in a few tablespoons of corn flour mixed with cold water to thicken it up.
FLIP THE BIRD: After 40 minutes I flip the chicken breast-side up to let the skin crisp. I sprinkle a bit more salt on at this stage.
LEST IT REST: I always let the chicken rest for 20 minutes before carving. This finishes the cooking process, but also helps me to get organised. Once the bird is out of the oven, all I need to do is boil some veg on the hob and concentrate on my roast spuds. I pre-boil my potatoes till quite soft, then roast them in the very high oven for 20/30 minutes.
TIME TO SERVE: My final touch is to add the flavoursome juices from the resting chicken to the gravy jug. Et voila – juicy tasty roast chicken.