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Dollop | The Best Roast Chicken
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The Best Roast Chicken

The Best Roast Chicken

Simple to prepare, perfection every time- flavourful, succulent meat under crisp, golden skin. This is the best roast chicken. Promise.

You need a casserole dish or tagine for this recipe- something that will fit a whole chicken & that you can put in the oven, with a tightly fitting lid. To avoid faffing around taking all the leaves off the tarragon & thyme, we like to tie the 2 bunches of herbs together with some dye-free, cotton string- making it very easy to fish them out at the end.

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons of ghee
  • 1 good-sized whole chicken (buy the best quality chicken you can afford, it’s worth it)
  • 6 small sweet potatoes
  • 12 shallot onions
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • Chicken stock cube
  • Bunch of tarragon
  • Bunch of thyme
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • Salt & Pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 170°C.

Peel the shallots, leaving them whole. Half the sweet potatoes & also half the garlic cloves. Arrange the shallots, sweet potatoes & garlic in the bottom of your casserole dish. Tie up your herbs with some dye-free, cotton string (or just remove all the leaves). Make 1 litre of chicken stock & pour over the veg.

Make sure the giblets have been removed from your chicken. Rub your chicken with the ghee. Make sure to get the ghee all over the legs, thighs & breasts. Sometimes we even get a layer of ghee in under the skin of the breasts- this video shows how to do this, they use a turkey but it’s the exact same idea.

Sprinkle the oregano & paprika over the bird & season generously with salt & pepper.Place the chicken into the casserole dish, on top of the veg. Put on the lid & place the casserole dish in the oven for 1hr 45mins. 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time, remove the lid from the dish, add a couple of small dollops of ghee to the bird & allow to cook uncovered for the remainder of the time- this encourages the skin to get really golden & crispy.

Allow the chicken to sit for about 15 minutes to rest before carving. Serve with the sweet potatoes & onions that have been cooked alongside the chicken & a simple green salad. Garlic mayo is a delicious condiment here.

If we are making roast chicken for a crowd, to avoid the fuss of carving while we would rather be drinking a glass of wine with our guests, we sometimes joint the chicken into portions before roasting. Before roasting, simply joint each chicken into 2 breast portions & 2 leg/thigh portions before rubbing each portion with ghee, sprinkling with oregano & seasoning. There are a million videos online for jointing chickens– don’t be intimidated about giving jointing a go. Cook the jointed chicken as above, but for a shorter length of time- 1hr 20mins should be sufficient. We usually get 2 jointed birds in the same casserole dish which not only saves on precious oven space, but getting them to fit in this tetris-like way is oddly satisfying. Two birds, one stone. Sorry.

 

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