Well, perfect is quite a claim and that’s exactly what I thought when I saw this recipe. It’s from Jamie Oliver’s site and we all know how good he is but I had to test out the ‘perfectness’ of it. You can find the original recipe here.
I didn’t want a recipe that involved too much preparation as I knew I wasn’t going to have a lot of time and with the minimal ingredients list and simple method to this recipe it did seem ‘perfect’ for my needs.
- 1 whole chicken (approx 1.6kg) – ideally free range
- 2 medium onions
- 2 carrots
- 2 sticks of celery
- 1 bulb of garlic
- Olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lemon
- Herbs – a small bunch of fresh thyme, rosemary, bay or sage; or a mix
Method of Preparation:
- Take the chicken out of the fridge half an hour before you’re due to start cooking it and preheat the oven to 240°C
- Wash and roughly chop the onions, carrots and leeks. Break the garlic into individual cloves (leave them unpeeled), place them and your veg into the baking tray and drizzle with a little olive oil
- Drizzle the chicken with some more olive oil and then season well with salt and pepper rubbing it all over the bird
- Prick the lemon all over with a sharp knife and then put it in the cavity (body of the bird) with your herbs
- Pop the chicken on top of the veg and slide the baking tray into the oven immediately turning the temperature down to 200°C
- Cook for 40 minutes and then baste the chicken by spooning the juices all over the top of it. Put it back in the oven for another 40 minutes – total cooking time 1hour 20 minutes
- Check the chicken is cooked by skewering the fattest part of the thigh and make sure the juices that run out are clear
- When you’re happy place the chicken on a board, cover it with tin foil and a tea towel, and leave it for a good 20 minutes so the meat can rest and reabsorb its own juices.
- Serve it with whatever you like
The claim was ‘perfect’ and I’ll be honest, I’ve never had a juicier, more tasty, home-cooked chicken than this one. It was just delicious. Wife made up some coleslaw and we just got stuck in.
The lemon I used wasn’t particularly fresh but we still got a good hint of it in the meat. I don’t know what else I can say, if you like chicken you’ve got to try this because it’s incredibly simple and dare I say it – perfect!