Roast Chicken for Dad!

- Advertisement -

Roast Chicken for Dad
Alison Mckee

Growing up, a roast chicken for dinner was a treat for my family. As kids we all had a favourite part of the bird – no wings for me – and squabbled over the wishbone. For some reason there was always enough cold chicken left-over the next day for sandwiches. Did we eat smaller portions of chicken and more vegetables or are today’s chickens smaller?

Roast chicken was always a treat for Dad.
Having just read renowned British Chef Heston Blumenthal’s In Search Of Perfection this Sunday lunch my quest, like Heston, is to cook the perfect roast chicken. Unfortunately Heston’s version takes two days to prepare and cook and requires a chicken from the Bresse area of the Rhone-Alpes region of France. I’m buying a free-range chicken from my local supermarket and making do!

Firstly, pat the chicken dry with kitchen towel and season the bird inside and out and remove the wing tip at the first joint. Place a generous amount of softened butter under the breast skin to help keep the breast meat moist during cooking. Not being a huge fan of stuffing I place lemon halves, fresh parsley, garlic and seasoning in the cavity before trussing the legs together and securing the wings to the neck flap. Place the chicken on its side in a roasting pan and baste with oil, butter or margarine. Place in a hot 210° C preheated oven. After 25 -30 minutes turn the chicken on to its other leg and cook another 25- 30 minutes basting frequently. To test for doneness pierce between the drumstick and thigh – the juices should show no sign of blood.

Traditionally roast chicken was served with Game Chips, similar to modern day potato chips, Bread Sauce, roast gravy and garnished with sprigs of watercress, Additionally, bacon rolls, bacon fried then rolled, were also served as an edible garnish. However, all this is far too fussy and old-fashioned for me. I’m serving my chicken with a platter of Warm Potato & Bacon Salad with Watercress Pesto, a tossed green salad, crusty French bread and a jug of Sangria. If you can’t find any watercress then rocket will be a good peppery alternative.   For dessert I’m serving cheese followed by Helen’s Citrus Tart with ice-cream. Best of all I’ll still get my Sunday sleep-in.

Watercress Pesto

2 large cloves garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 cups packed watercress leaves (no stalks)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Blend the garlic, sea salt, pine nuts, and watercress together in a food processor. Mix through cheese and then with motor running pour in olive oil until desired consistency.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *