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Cooking Tips: Whole Roast Chicken

It’s hard to beat a beautiful oven roasted free range chicken for dinner. These few steps will guarantee a beautiful crisp skin with moist and tender meat inside.

How To Cook:

  • Remove chicken from fridge 30 minutes before cooking
  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees
  • Rub oil and salt and pepper all over the chicken
  • Place chicken in roasting dish breast side up
  • Pierce a whole lemon about 10 times with a sharp knife and squeeze half the juice over the chicken and then insert the lemon in to the cavity
  • OPTIONAL: If you have any herbs such as Rosemary, Thyme, or Sage, tie them together and place in to the cavity also.
  • Tie the legs together with some kitchen string
  • Pop it in the oven and cook for one hour per kilo of weight (e.g. 1.5 hours for a 1.5 kilo chicken)
  • Rest under foil for 10 minutes (breast side down, to keep the meat moist) and then carve

How to Carve:  

  • Place the chicken breast-side-up on the cutting board.
  • Remove any string from the chicken and cut off the Wings. (These have very little meat on them anyway, and unless you really like them, they are best put in the pan to add flavour to your gravy or set aside to be used with the carcass for making stock.)
  • Use the tip of your knife to slit the skin where the Leg is joined to the body. Cut a small slit in the meat as well, exposing the joint. Cut through the joint and pull the leg off. Repeat on the other side.
  • If desired, you can also separate the Thigh from the Drumstick. This is a similar process to separating the leg from the body: Start by cutting through the skin and making a shallow slit in the meat. Rotate the joint so that it pops out, and then cut the thigh away from the drumstick by cutting straight down through the remaining cartilage and skin.
  • To remove the Breasts, cut a slit down the middle, between the breasts, to expose the breast bone, and then keep cutting down on one side until you hit the ribs. Once there, just run the knife along the ribs (almost parallel to the ribs) to cut off the breasts. Serve the breast whole, cut each into two pieces or slice and fan out onto serving platter. Repeat on the other side.
  • Turn the chicken over to get all the tasty, juicy bits from underneath.
  • Now you are left with just the carcass which can be used for making stock or soup.

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