The Cooking Chook cooks a Chook
I love roast chicken. It’s one of a few regular dishes that my partner and I indulge in when I can’t be bothered cooking. We’ll go down to our local chicken shop and buy ourselves a whole roasted chook and chips….YUM! Even though roasted chook is a favourite dish of mine, I have never actually roasted one until recently when I noticed that the price for a whole chook at our local chicken shop was getting rather pricey. Being the thrifty person I am, I decided that it was high time I learnt how to roast a chook and save myself several dollars while I’m at it. I researched for a while before before coming across a suitable recipe because I wanted to be sure that The Cooking Chook was going to cook a really nice chook. I opted for a recipe that didn’t have stuffing, which I had never seen before. I had always thought that a roast chook had some sort of stuffing. No stuffing is great because it’s one less element to be concerned about. I remember the first time I attempted this recipe, I was so nervous! I sat in front of my oven for an hour and a half, watching the chook, ready to pounce if I saw even a hint of over-browning on the breast. I really didn’t have anything to worry about though; it turned out great! It was the most succulent roast chook I had ever had, and it was waaaaaay better than the ones I’d buy at the local chicken shop. No more chicken shop chook for me. This recipe should feed four people, or in my case, two people plus leftovers the next day. I normally serve the chook with roasted veggies, mash potato, cauliflower gratin and gravy – Mmmmm giddy up!
The Cooking Chook cooks a Chook
1.6kg fresh chook (I use Lilydale free-range chickens)
50g butter, softened
4 large sage leaves, chopped
3 garlic gloves, crushed and halved
Extra butter for basting
Preheat oven to 180°C. Combine the sage and butter in a bowl.
Using paper towels, pat the outside and inside of the chook dry. Run your fingers under the skin above the breasts of the chook to loosen and create a couple of pockets. Massage three-quarters of the butter mixture into the pockets and spread evenly. Be careful not to tear the skin when making the pockets, because the butter will end up melting out of that area resulting in drier meat. Massage the remaining butter mixture over the outside of the chook. Squeeze some lemon juice into the cavity, then stuff with the half lemon and garlic. Sprinkle a little salt over the chook.
The first time I roasted a chook, I forgot to buy kitchen string to tie the legs together. So, I hopped online and found a method of positioning the legs together without having to use kitchen string. Here’s what I did….. You’ll find on each side of the chook, near the cavity opening, there is a thin fatty bit where you make a hole and ‘thread’ through the opposite leg.
You repeat the process on the other side and it’s just like using kitchen string. Once you have positioned the legs together, place the chook in a large roasting pan breast side up.
Roast the chook in the oven, basting with the pan juices and brushing with some melted butter halfway through cooking. If you’re finding the breasts browning a little too quickly, whack a piece of foil on that part of the chicken to prevent further browning. As a guide, I roast chooks for 30 minutes for every 500g so for a 1.6kg chook, this equates to roughly an hour and a half. To check if the chook is cooked, pierce the thickest part of the thigh with a skewer and if the juices run clear then it’s ready to come out of the oven. Transfer the chook to a large dish, cover with foil and set aside for 10 minutes to rest before carving.
Note: I have amended the original recipe, so if you would like to access it, click here.