How to Perfectly Roast a Chicken, and Stay Out of an Australian Storm
A roast chicken to warm your cockles
I believe I mentioned a bit of rain in my last post. Little did I know. Queensland is now flooded, leaving families without homes and some without their loved ones. We have been indoors for three days, staying at a safe distance from flying debris and the likes.
Australians love a warning
I tend to make quiet fun of Australia’s frequent warnings for this, that and the other. The “Do you have extra batteries? Have you canned some food? Here’s another helpline..”. Once we even got a flyer in the mail from Queensland Government stating that there were prank calls circulating, and that we should not answer the phone if strangers were to ring. How do you know if it’s a stranger? Do they ring differently?
It’s fairly easy though, to be funny, when you’re in a gated community, high up in a solid complex with a rather pleasant view of the pool. The worst thing I experienced during this cyclone was having to cancel my Pilates this morning and needing to move the barbeque. So ridiculous, yet so thankfully real.
We see the photos circulating in social media, and can’t believe it is all happening right down the street. Farmers losing their crops, a cousin lost power and phone lines, friends lost their roof..
Bending with nature
Gazing out the window last night, in the heart of the cyclone, I found myself in awe of the native trees and their ability to bend perfectly with the forceful movement of the wind, only to bounce back unharmed the very next moment. I’ve often thought it would be nice to see more flowers about in Queensland, but I see now how only the hardy ones can live in this unforgiving landscape.
Our houses and our toys are like the flowers, introduced, so the wind rips them to pieces. And so are we. Perhaps because of, rather than in spite of, our western ways, do we become such easy targets for the weather. We have forgotten how to bend.
Food for thought
There’s a food for every thought, and today’s thoughts are best accompanied by something from the earth, to help us remember that it gives as much as it takes.
My special roast chicken is special in its simplicity, and in the succulent flesh guaranteed by my little trick..
It’s not so much a magic trick that will blow your socks off, but rather a handy little thing that you probably knew before your mind forgot to remember: Just roll the chicken over!
Roast the chicken on its breast instead of its back. That way all the juices will fall into the breast meat, and you get the most amazingly succulent fillets!
This is how I do it:
Preheat the oven to 180 c
- Pick a lovely, meaty, pastured organic chicken. Dry it off with some paper towel, drizzle a bit of olive oil into a baking tray and put the chicken in the tray “facing” down. Tie the legs and wings together if you please.
- Cut little holes in the skin and stuff whole (peeled) cloves of garlic in between the skin and flesh here and there.
- Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the chicken, and crushed salt and pepper over to taste.
- The chicken needs half an hour of roasting time per kilo, however, you will need to take it out of the oven with 45 minutes to go, to add the roasting vegetables.
- Whilst the chicken is roasting, peel and cut carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, onions and potatoes into bite-size pieces (replace the onion and garlic for IBS and FODMAP friendly option)
- With 45 minutes to go on the chicken, lay the vegetables in the tray next to the chicken. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on them, salt & pepper, and a bit of honey.
The chicken is ready if the liquid runs clear when you cut into the thickest part of the meat.
Chop some parsley and sprinkle over the chicken before serving. I like to put the whole tray on the table and cut as we go. We usually start by removing the crispy skin (only to eat it, of course, it’s the best bit), then flip the chicken over and cut from the wonderfully succulent breast fillets.
This truly is food for the heart and the soul!
Our hearts go out to those who lost property, animals or loved ones during the storms this weekend. We have been so incredibly lucky not to be personally affected!
Got chicken left over? Check out these awesome recipes for your leftovers:
Have you got some great roasting tips? I’d love to hear them!