Who does not like roast chicken? It must have been one of the most often cooked dishes of all times. It is definitely very popular in my neighborhood considering that there are three chicken shops around the corner where we live, all within 100 steps from each other, all doing very well selling roast chickens to the hungry crowd, or so it seems.
I, on the other hand, like to eat the one that is cooked in my own kitchen. It could be because it is not such a difficult thing to do or because I like the delightful aromas that fill our house tantalizing our taste buds and firing up our appetites. And if you have never roasted a chicken in your life, I strongly suggest you try.
Preparation: 20 min, cooking time: 1- 1.20 minutes
To feed 6 people you need:
1.5 kg corn fed whole chicken
1 fennel bulb
50 ml olive oil
50 go butter chopped into small pieces
1 garlic head
1 kg small potatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Remove the bird out of the fridge half hour before cooking.
Pre-heat the oven to180C. Wash and pat to dry the chicken, remove all the bits from its cavity, snip off the wing tips and pluck out any remaining feathers. Gently pry the skin off the breast meat and bone and carefully slide pieces of butter under the skin spreading it evenly.
Cut off the tips from the fennel bulb and place them inside the chicken’s cavity. Slice the fennel into rounds about 1 cm thick and spread them on the baking tray. Place the chicken on top, pour over olive oil and sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper.
Separate the garlic head and using the flat side of your knife, flatten each clove and then place them into the bird’s cavity. Slice a lemon in half, squeeze the juice of one half all over the chicken and massage it into the skin so the olive oil and the seasoning are well spread. Slice the other half into rounds and place them around the chicken.
Pour one cup of hot water into a tray and place it in the oven. When the chicken skin on one side is started to get brown, reduce the temperature to 150C and let it roast basting occasionally using the liquid formed on the bottom of the tray. Also don’t forget to move the potatoes around so they get a nice crispy skin all over.
I like my chicken to be brown on all sides, so after cooking it for half hour, gently turn it over to cook the other side and continue basting it every now and then.
After cooking the chicken for one hour, insert a skewer into the thigh and if the juices come out clear, the bird is cooked. If the juices are still running slightly pink, continue cooking for another 15-20 minutes. If by that time the skin of the chicken gets too brown, cover it with foil to prevent from burning.
Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the oven and rest for about 10 minutes covered with foil.
Carefully slice the bird, place it in the middle of a big serving plate and arrange the potatoes and fennel all around it. Pour over the juices and serve with a simple green salad on the side.