Whenever, I have ever been asked as a Chef, if I could choose anything at all, what would my last meal on earth be? Invariably, the answer is usually between a really simple yet perfect bowl of pasta like the one that I recently discovered at Briscola restaurant in Toronto or the King of all comfort food…roast chicken. To be honest, I believe that nothing congers up visions of homey, rustic, delicious food than a simply cooked roast chicken.
Now I am certain that there are as many different preparations of roast chicken as there are days in the week. But for this post, I have decided to break down a few chickens into its component pieces, to expedite the cooking time and to make it applicable to home cooking even on weekdays where time or the lack thereof is always a concern. I hope that you enjoy this simple, delicious and quick recipe of one of my favourite foods.
1 Whole free-range chicken (chicken legs, drums or breast can also be used)
1 Large Onion
1 Celery stalk
1 Bunch of Fresh Thyme
1 Bunch of Rosemary
3 Bay leaves
Cracker Black Pepper
Fresh flat leaf parsley
3 Garlic cloves
Preheat oven to 450° F
If using a whole chicken, breakdown it down into pieces OR can use store bought pieces – whichever is easiest.
Place in a large mixing bowl.
Wash hands and sanitize.
Season with whatever you would like – keep it simple.
I used seasoning salt, pepper, paprika and soya sauce to marinate the chicken pieces.
Place in fridge until ready to cook.
Get a baking sheet and line it with parchment paper.
Wash, peel and cut into a small dice the carrot, celery and onion. This is the holy trinity of roasting, braising and stocks and so much more. This is called a mirepoix. Place the mirepoix on the tray, a drizzle of olive oil, add thyme, bay leaf and garlic cloves.
Get the chicken out of the fridge and place in a even layer to promote even and thorough cooking.
If your oven is convection turn on the fan and place tray in the oven.
Once chicken is in oven, reduce heat to 400°F and let roast for 25 mines.
After cooking for 25mins, flip the chicken pieces to allow for even browning and crispy skin. Allow to cook for approximately another 15mins or until the chicken is done.
Chicken is done when an instant read thermometer reads an internal temperature of 180°C.
Take the chicken out and let sit for a few moments.
When you are ready to serve the chicken squeeze the lemon over the chicken.
For any suggestions on flavour combinations or advice on how to butcher a chicken please comment or connect with me on @Twitter! Take care and enjoy the recipe!