Looking ahead, not too far into the future, we will once again start socializing with friends and family. I rarely host dinner parties, but I love having my family home for Sunday dinner or celebrating special occasions.
Unlike many of you, I have not been honing my cooking skills during the pandemic. That would have been a productive way to spend my time, but unfortunately, it just wasn’t high enough on my list of priorities! I have, however, been trying out different recipes over the past several Sundays, hoping to master the “art of roasting a chicken.”
It is said that the test of a good cook (home or professional) is their ability to roast chicken… consistently…to be moist and fragrant with a crispy, golden skin. This may be a piece of cake for many of you, but it isn’t easy to accomplish for the rest of us who are not so confident in the kitchen!
There doesn’t seem to be hard and fast rules for roasting a chicken. From what I’ve gathered, the ingredients are similar in every recipe…salt, pepper, herbs, lemon, onions, olive oil and of course, butter. Most recipes suggest roasting potatoes and carrots along with the chicken.
The photo left shows my first attempt at spatchcocking (butterflying) a chicken. By removing the backbone, the chicken can be flattened, allowing for a shortened cooking time. I also found that carving was easier using this method. The recipe called for melted butter to be poured over the chicken, which gave a golden, brown skin and moist meat.
The photo (left) shows my first try at trussing a chicken. It looks so easy in the video provided with this recipe (by a French chef), but after several attempts, I had to tighten up the legs with a separate piece of string. Not sure what happened when I flipped the chicken over to tie up the wings, but the string kept slipping by the time I turned it right side up! This recipe suggested that the chicken be placed on each side for 15 minutes at the beginning of the cooking time, allowing the thighs extra cooking time. The chicken is covered in olive oil and seasoned with salt and lemon pepper, making it tricky flipping the chicken from side to side, especially after the first 15 minutes of being in a 400F oven! (Again, this looks easy in the video!)
Next Sunday, I plan to try Kate Moss’s recipe for roast chicken and roasted vegetables. She prepared this menu for a Sunday lunch with friends, Charlotte Tilbury among them. Again, she makes this look effortless…taking a leisurely bubble bath in the midst of the preparations!
Although I am no Julia Child, I am determined to master the “art of roasting a chicken“. To me, it’s the perfect Sunday dinner…family-style comfort food. Is it obvious that I can’t wait to have my family over again, for the laughter and chaos around the table and the opportunity to make new memories?
If you have a favourite (easy) roasted chicken recipe, I would love for you to share it.