Our butchers tips
Tips for the Perfect Roast Chicken
There are so many different ways that you can prepare and roast a chicken. Starting with a bird that has flavour and moisture is a good start. Our favourites are Goosnargh corn fed chickens. We’ve found that these birds -maybe because of their diet or maybe down to their older age - have the perfect taste and texture. This makes them quite forgiving.
One thing that, I think, that most people agree on is that a dry skin is important. The minimal preparation would be to take the chicken out of it’s packaging, place it in the fridge and allow the air to circulate overnight. This will allow the skin and cavity to dry.
Another favourite method is to brine the bird for a few hours to allow some salt to penetrate before cooking. This extra treatment tenderises the meat and adds some seasoning. Take the bird from the brine well in advance of roasting as above to allow the skin to dry.
Some preparation methods we’ve seen involve a pre-poaching of the chicken. In this version the bird is poached in simmering water for 10 minutes, breast side down, before being taken from the water and patted dry.
Whatever the preparation method, our favourite method for roasting is 10-15 minutes at 220c to crisp up the skin before lowering the heat to 180c for another hour or so to cook through. This crisps up the skin first and then allows the bird to roast without drying out.
As with most roasts, it’s important to allow the meat to rest for 20 minutes or so after it’s come out of the oven.
If you’re concerned about the bird drying out, a good tip is to complete the first hour of the cook in a roasting bag. Open up the bag 15 minutes before you’re ready and turn up the oven to 220c for a final crisping and colouring. This is also great for preserving the juices for a perfect gravy. Try adding some garlic and herbs to the bag or inside the cavity!