About this recipe:A good roast chicken is the hardest simple recipe to prepare. But if you start with a good quality, fresh chicken and follow a few tricks and tips, it can be an easy dish that turns out perfect every time. Instead of potatoes, I like to roast stale bread, which gets new life when paired with fresh vegetables and herbs.
1 whole chicken
6 slices stale bread (use good, crusty bread)
2 red onions
2 celery sticks
3 bay leaves
2 rosemary sprigs
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 lemon, halved
1 garlic clove
salt and pepper to taste
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Method Prep:20min › Cook:1hr › Ready in:1hr20min
The evening before, wash and dry the chicken inside and out and sprinkle salt inside and out. Place back in the refrigerator.
Preheat the oven at 250 C / Gas 8.
Cut the bread in cubes and chop the onions, celery and carrots in rough pieces. Toss together and add half of the herbs, the juice of half the lemon, salt and pepper to taste and the olive oil. Toss well and spread on a baking tray.
Place the remaining herbs, lemon and garlic clove inside the chicken cavity. Place the chicken breast side down over the vegetables and bread and place in the hot oven.
Roast for about 40-50 minutes, then turn on its back and put back in for 15-20 minutes to crisp the breast skin.
To test doneness, wiggle the leg back and forth and pierce it with a knife. The joint should feel loose and the juices should come out clear.
Cut in 10 pieces and arrange them over the roasted vegetables and bread, bring to the table and enjoy!
Breast side down?
Well, I have this theory that since the fatter juicier meat and skin are on top of the chicken, by force of gravity some of that goodness will trickle down to the breast while cooking...this and the advance salting have been the two most sizable improvements to my roast chicken.