This epic and legendary roast chicken recipe has always been nagging at my thoughts and I had wanted to try it for a long time. Well, a few days ago, I decided to do some homework and look up the recipe online. Oh yes, I get almost all my recipe ideas online nowadays.
Anyway, what I discovered was that there are 2 versions of this roast chicken recipe; one using olive oil and one using butter. I opted for the latter, because with the proof in the pictures from my pal Paris’s site, I knew this was a fool-proof recipe. I followed her recipe almost to the tee, except that I omitted the bacon strips, and instead of dried herbs, I used fresh herbs.
The result was a roast chicken dish that was moist on the inside, and deliciously crisp on the outside; which is how I like it. I served it with warm steamed rice, but it probably can be eaten on its own or even with some warm steamed buns or bread! Hubby loved it but my kids were not too keen on the lemony flavors. My kids liked the chicken on its own though.
All I can say is, for a first attempt, this was definitely a resounding success! I say it’s fool-proof because c’mon, how wrong can you get by just chopping and mixing everything and roasting the bird? Plus, there are only so many ways to stuff the butter into the chicken!
By the way, I think the yumminess of the roast chicken stems from the ingredients in the butter stuffed between the skin and the chicken meat. I did a similar stuffing thing when I roasted a turkey a few years ago, but with this roast chicken recipe, the stuffing is a lemon herb butter filling. Helps too if the ingredients used are fresh 🙂
I had to stop myself taking a whiff from that fragrant lemon herb butter, because frankly, it smelled really good! If you haven’t roasted a chicken before, this is definitely the go-to recipe that won’t fail you. I’ll probably do this again and again, and possibly try out the other Jamie Oliver roast chicken recipe, the one with the olive oil.
Jamie Oliver’s Fantastic Roast Chicken (adapted from Have You Eaten?)
- 1 whole chicken, skin on
- 1 whole lemon
- 1/2 block of butter softened
- 1 large yellow onion cut into chunks
- 2 medium sized carrots, cut into chunks
- 1 medium potato, cut into chunks
- Fresh herbs, use according to your own liking. I used Rosemary, Thyme, Parsley and 2 Bay Leaves
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 3-4 cloves of garlic chopped finely
- Aluminium foil
- Preheat the oven to 220ºC for about 20 minutes.
- Parboil the carrots and potatoes if you like. Not compulsory.
- Wash the chicken inside out and pat dry with some paper towels.
- Peel the rind off the lemon and chop it into fine bits. I do recommend using a grater if you have one. My lemon rind was a bit too coarse, so there was a slightly bitter taste to it.
- Add the bits of lemon rind and the chopped garlic to the softened butter. The butter should be soft so it is squishy but not melted to a liquid. I leave the butter out to soften a few minutes before I’m ready to start cooking.
- Roughly chop the fresh herbs and add it to the butter mixture.
- Add some salt and pepper to taste. I used a little more salt than usual because I used unsalted butter. If your butter is of the salted kind, then reduce the salt accordingly.
- Carefully, with the chicken cavity facing you, peel the skin of the chicken away from the flesh without tearing it. You should feel a pocket form between the skin and flesh.
- Using your hands, pick up some of the butter mixture and stuff it into the pocket you just created. Repeat on the other side.
- Rub the rest of the butter mixture all over the chicken, inside and outside. It helps crisp the skin and adds flavour while it cooks. If you have any remainder mix, just place it in the cavity of the chicken.
- Slice the lemon in half, poke the flesh a little with a fork then place the lemon halves into the chicken cavity. You can tie the legs together at this point, or just leave them.
- Tear off some smallish pieces of aluminium foil and wrap it around the wing tips and ends of the chicken drumsticks to prevent it burning.
- Place the chicken in the hot oven and roast for 25 minutes.
- After 25 minutes, remove the chicken from the oven. You will notice that the butter has melted into the tray and the skin is starting to brown. With a pair of tongs or chopsticks, lift the chicken and quickly toss the potatoes, carrots and onion chunks in the butter. Then, place the chicken back onto the bed of vegetables and return to the oven for 45 minutes.
- About 15 minutes before the chicken is ready, open the oven and remove the foil so the wing tips and drumstick tips brown evenly.
- To test if the chicken is done, stick a tester or knife into the drumstick or breast area of the chicken and see the juice that runs out. If it’s clear, its done. If it’s red, leave it a while longer.
- When it’s done, remove and let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before serving.
The aroma that fills the house while the chicken is roasting in the oven is simply heavenly. If you prepare it well ahead of your mealtime, you might find it hard to resist eating the chicken right away when it comes out from the oven!
You could also make gravy from the juices that are produced as a result of roasting the chicken. I tried, but the gravy was a little on the oilier side. I need to find out how to reduce the oil next time.
- After removing the chicken and vegetables from the roasting tray, pour the liquid in the tray into a medium saucepan, and heat it up on the stove.
- Add some water or stock or some white wine depending on what you have on hand.
- Add a squeeze of the lemon from the chicken cavity.
- Bring to a boil and let it reduce a little. You can thicken it with some cornflour or just leave it runny.