I hope this image of my herb-roasted chicken does not scare you. This was my first attempt and the husband had clicked it then. I made the same recipe quite a few times after that and they turned out much better than what you see in the picture. Unfortunately, there are no pictures of the ‘successful’ and ‘better-looking’ attempts – we had been too busy doing justice to the chicken!
Okay, so I am done with my disclaimer. But seriously,I never knew about the wonders that rosemary and thyme could do to the olfactory senses, along with the aroma of butter. The whole house smelled so warm and delicious that I really had to control myself in not opening the oven before the stipulated time.
Chicken roast has always been my great weakness, right from childhood. Deta used to make an amazing roast in the pressure cooker, a recipe he had learnt on a trip to London decades back. He believed in trussing up the bird properly, braising it in butter and roasting it after keeping it marinated overnight in ginger juice. I don’t exactly remember his recipe but it was incredibly succulent and juicy. We would be excited every time he entered the kitchen (which was rarely) to make his signature chicken roast. Maybe I should learn the recipe from him and try it out sometime.
Till then, here is how I made my herb-roasted chicken.
1 whole chicken with skin, giblets removed and preferably weighing between 1-1.5 kg
1 small sprig each of rosemary and thyme, broken up
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 tablespoon ginger juice
1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, quartered
1 onion, quartered
Salt, pepper and butter to taste
Wash the chicken and pat dry. Keep aside till the marinade is ready.
For the marinade, combine the Worchestershire sauce, crushed garlic, ginger juice, lemon juice, butter, salt and pepper. Now, apply this mixture thoroughly on the chicken, particularly below the skin and in the cavity. The skin separates easily from the chicken if you carefully insert your fingers and break the fatty layer.
Push the rosemary and thyme ‘branches’ below the skin and inside the cavity, but take care not to break the delicate skin. Finally, shove in the quartered lemon and onion in the cavity.
Marinate the chicken uncovered, if possible overnight, in the fridge.
Now, after sufficient marinating, time to roast the birdie. Pre-heat the oven at 200 degrees for 10 minutes. In that period, rub a little salt over the skin and slather a good amount of butter as well. Place the chicken breast side down on a silver foil-lined tray in the middle slot of the oven and roast for 1 hour – 1 hour 30 minutes, based on the size of the chicken. Take care to flip the chicken once it reaches the half hour mark and baste with the marinade plus ensuing juices generously. I did not truss my chicken, but you are most welcome to do so. Don’t be lazy like me.
Once the hour is up, let the chicken sit for around 5-10 minutes before taking it out of the oven. By then, there would be a pool of amazingly flavoured sauce emanated from the chicken. Cut up the chicken, drizzle the dripping/sauce over the pieces and you are good to go! You can remove the rosemary and thyme before serving but I decided to keep some.
Our chicken roast had turned out beautifully golden and absolutely fall-off-the-bone tender and moist. The knife faced no resistance while cutting through the chicken. The buttery, rosemary-thyme seasoned light sauce greatly helped in enhancing the flavor while the lemon added the refreshing tang. In fact, I made a proper thick sauce out of the drippings/juices to coat the chicken pieces. But that is for another post. Till then, enjoy this simple herb-roasted chicken and wonder at how simple things bring the most pleasure in our lives. Cheers!