Much has been written on the topic of the perfect roast chicken. I’ve tried many and various recipes but I think that this is actually THE ONE! Obviously, the most important thing is to buy a decent quality chook in the first place (I buy high welfare ones from my local butcher) but then it’s all about the dressing of the bird before cooking, the temperature of the oven and the duration of the roasting time. This longer, lower temperature roast with the chicken smeared with cinnamon and salt spiced butter delivers a beautifully cooked, succulent bird with crispy skin every time. Served with the pan juices spooned over the meat, it’s just a delight.
- 1 high welfare or free range chicken about 1.7kg
- 1/2 lemon
- A handful of fresh herbs – a couple of bay leaves, rosemary or sage – whatever you have to hand
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 40g butter, softened
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- Remove the chicken from the fridge and allow to come up to room temperature for 20 minutes or so. Remove any trussing string.
- Preheat the oven to 150C.
- Sit the chicken in a shallow sided roasting tin and season the cavity with some salt and pepper. Stuff it with the herbs, garlic and the lemon.
- Mix the butter with the cinnamon and salt and smother the chicken skin with it.
- Roast the chicken in the oven on the middle shelf for two and a half hours. Baste a few times during the cooking time.
- Once cooked, the juices should run clear if you prick the thigh with a skewer or the point of a sharp knife. Allow it to cool slightly before serving; it will be easier to carve. Serve with the pan juices.
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