One of the thing about Summer that I love is the ever-accessibility of fresh herbs and produce. It is the high time to truly pick bunches of fresh basil, fresh sprigs of rosemary and parsley from my balcony crops. I think I may have been Italian in my past life, since I seem to be eating eating Caprese every day.
With the aforementioned herbs in abundance, this is also the time when I then turn to my favorite roast chicken recipe as inspired by one Mr. Jamie Oliver in one of his earlier books, the Naked Chef. I’ve made this chicken for 1,000 times and some – the recipe is ingrained in my brain. Many of my friends do not have the cookbook and have been bugging me to share it or lend the book. Since with my cookbook collection I am almost like children with their favorite toys…
The thought of someone borrowing my cookbooks and never returning it… Aaaarrrrggghhhh! I’m having nightmares just thinking about it!
I hereby share with you Jamie Oliver’s Perfect Roast Chicken recipe. It may not be exactly how he sets it up in the book, but I will tell you exactly how I always make it, you know, the 998 times I’ve done it from memory.
Perfect Roast Chicken
As told by she of the OrangePot HQ (based on her selective memory of Jamie Oliver’s Perfect Roast Chicken)
1~1.5 kg whole chicken
olive oil (about several lugs, which will be identified in the directions later
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch of fresh basil, stemmed and chopped
1 bunch of fresh parsley(any variety, I like flat leaf, but curly works just as well), stemmed and chopped
1 whole lemon, cut into halves
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
3 fresh bay leaves (if you don’t have any fresh, dried OK, too)
- Wash the chicken inside out
- Separate the skin of the breast carefully using your fingers. Be sure you don’t tear the skin as you will need it intact to stuff the herb mix in.
- Rub the meat below the skin with a lug of olive oil and salt. Then stuff the area with the herb mix (basil+parsley), so it looks like the upper part of the chicken is wearing a chicken-jacket stuffed with herb
- Rub the chicken cavity with olive oil and salt. Put on lemon half at the inside of the cavity, then add the bay leaves and rosemary, then close it with the other lemon half.
- To lock it further, then close the cavity by pinning the cavity opening skin using a toothpick
- Rub the entire chicken exterior with olive oil, season generously with salt and pepper.
- Let sit in the fridge for about at least 30 minutes (I often season this in the morning or afternoon and then cook it for dinner)
- Heat the oven to 220C. When the oven is ready, put the chicken in and cook for 1-hour.I like to use a roasting rack on top of a bed of new potatoes cut in halves, carrots and onions. As the chicken cooks the dripping will simultaneously get some delicious chicken-jus seasoning.
- The roast chicken will turn golden and the skin will look quite crisp. Using a chicken thermometer you can check if the chicken is done, but generally for this size 1-hour should be fine. Let the chicken sit for about 15 minutes before carving (or just literally cut into 4 using your poultry scissors).
- Serve chicken with the roasted potatoes and vegetables (if using).