October 26, 2014

Foolproof Roast Chicken

I cooked my first roast dinner today. Successfully.

We're talking crisp, roasted chicken. We're talking multiple types of veg. We're talking Jamie Oliver-style roasties. As an aside; do you know how hard it is to cook roast potatoes for the first time as someone who doesn't eat potatoes and can't taste them?! I'm assured they were very good though!

However, the chicken is what I wanted to talk about. It was, to quote my dad, the pièce de résistance and the best thing? It's beyond simple.

I usually cook this chicken at least once a week as it is quick, easy, delicious and makes for great salad fodder. The chicken turns out juicy, tender and falling off the bone every time and it's all down to (a) the roasting method and, (b) the rub for the skin.

So, let's deal with the roasting method first. The key is to keep the chicken elevated so it cooks evenly. I throw together a roasting rack by lining a tray with tin foil and popping in a wire rack. I'm pretty sure you can buy a dual-layer tray for this specific purpose but, DIY works just fine.

Next, the rub. In a bowl, mix celery salt, onion salt, cayenne pepper and garlic powder. No measurements, it's all very quick and a bit slapdash.

I like to use skin-on chicken breast on-the-bone, preferably with the wing attached. Plop them on the wire rack and work the rub into the skin. This will crisp up amazingly and give your chicken the most amazing flavour.

For this type of chicken, pop it in a preheated oven at 230C/450F/Gas Mark 8 for 40-45 minutes. It has never taken more than that to cook perfectly. You could use the same rub on chicken wings, thighs or even the whole bird but, promise me something? You won't throw the skin away. It's incredibly delicious and ever so crisp!

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