I actually made this last weekend but it’s been a busy time starting a new job hence the delay in posting! It is based on Heston Blumental’s perfect chicken recipe and for those who don’t know him; he is a British chef who likes to use the science of food. So for this roast chicken, I had to undertake a few additional steps to my usual way of cooking!
First thing is to brine the chicken. That is to soak it in salted water for about 8 hours which has the result of keeping in the moisture when cooking the chicken. Heston thinks many roast chickens are dry and as they are made up of 80% water, they key is to keep this moisture in. I’m no scientist so I won’t attempt to explain this in any more detail but google is always on hand!
I did not follow Heston’s recipe exactly but here is the link in case anyone wants to or for a few more basic details of the recipe and ingredients:
After the brining process, I squirted lemon juice inside the cavity of the chicken (I did not have a lemon in the fridge, nor one ready on my tree!) along with some thyme. I rubbed the skin with butter and put in the oven for about 2 hours on 100 degrees (the lowest our little oven will go to – remember the name of this blog; la cuineta – the little kitchen, and you can see the little oven below!).
I then rested the chicken outside the oven for about 30 mins and in the meantime par-boiled some roast potatoes and carrots for 10 mins before putting them in the (now empty) roasting tin for 30 mins at about 200 degrees. I turned the oven up to the highest temperature (250 degrees) and then put the chicken back in along with the potatoes and carrots for about 15 mins.
Finally, I carved and served along with gravy. I’m afraid I cheated here and made my more traditional gravy using a bit of the juices from the roasting tin along with Bisto granules and some freshly ground pepper. Maybe next time I attempt the gravy also!
I have to say the result of all this is fantastic! If I were a scientist maybe I could experiment to see whether the brining or the slow cooking has the greatest effect but I can say, the two combined do produce a really succulent chicken and I would definitely recommend making the extra effort of brining before cooking. The chicken literally falls apart as you carve and eat and it surely is close to being a perfect roast chicken!