The personal stories and adventures of a nerdy food lover.

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
½ lemon
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.

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18 thoughts on “The Cooking Chook cooks a Chook

  1. Chicken looks gorgeous. And thanks for sharing the tying of the chicken legs tip!

  2. Hi Chook. You know I have roasted about 3 million chickens over the years, in many different countries too, and I never knew this cute trick to hold the stuffing in! EXCELLENT. I love learning new stuff.. good morning .. c

    • Hey Cecilia and good morning to you (although it’s night in Australia)! Three million chickens is a lot! Do you have any tips for me?

      • I may have been over exaggerating. Maybe only one million. My fav fast roast chicken, is stuffed with chopped lemons and onions, drizzled with lemon juice and pepper and roasted for an hour. I once made a marmalade roast chicken too and the gravy was divine! Ni Ni..c

  3. Have to love a good roasted chicken! Especially when it looks delicious in the making! Yummy for a sunday lunch 😀

  4. Mmmm, roast chicken. I love the butter under the skin trick and the great thing is you can flavour it so many ways!

  5. Your background sounds just like mine!! Would love to get in touch. I’m writing a novel called VietnamEazy. I was going to send you an email but couldn’t find your contact info. Don’t want to spam your site so if you reply, I will give you the link 🙂 Hope to connect with you.

    • Hey – sounds interesting. I didn’t even realise that I didn’t have a contact email address on my blog. Will have to rectify that. Thanks for letting me know 🙂

      • I was so pleased to find your blog and discover that you too value the power of food, family, and heritage!
        It is important for us to remember those values as we juggle dual-identities in the modern day. Fortunately, we both learned those values growing up in a Vietnamese-American family!
        I am currently writing a book called VietnamEazy which tells the story of three generations of Vietnamese women.

        The campaign for the book has just been launched.
        I would be so honored if you would consider helping spread the word about my project through your blog or social media in order to bring this untold narrative of our culture to light.

        I would love to offer something in exchange for coverage on your blog, like having you be on the dedicated supporters section of the website for the book.
        Also, we can engage further through social media like facebook in order to connect each others’ communities.
        I have liked your facebook page and would love to spark some conversations there.

        Thanks for doing what you do, I hope that we can help each other in building community around Vietnamese-America, food, family, love and acceptance.
        I’m sooo excited for the release of Vietnameazy in 2013, and will be eternally grateful to have your blessing as I stand up and bring this story to light!



      • I check it out 🙂

      • Thank you 🙂

  6. Pingback: Quick and easy roast chicken – the brown paper bag way | thecookingchook

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