Roast chicken with lemon and herbs, roast potatoes and a tasty gravy made from the juices ~ delicious! This is classic comfort food at its best!
Forty years ago chicken was something of a luxury but since the introduction of intensive poultry farming, chicken is now a weekly staple in most households. It is a good source of low fat protein and there are endless recipes, both classic and modern, that can be attempted and enjoyed.
I always buy free-range because a bird that it is able to roam yields tastier, better quality meat and is also much healthier.
Chickens are sold whole and in portions and can be cooked in a variety of ways. Whole chickens are great for roasting or pot-roasting; breasts are drier and lend themselves to grilling or poaching, they can be stuffed and wrapped or sliced for use in stir-fries; breasts on the bone are usually more moist than filleted; thighs and drumsticks are great in casseroles or curries as well as on a barbecue; wings are perfect finger-food and I use the tips as a base for chicken stock.
My favourite herbs for classic chicken recipes are sage, rosemary and lemon thyme. Fennel is also good especially if you quarter the bulbs and roast with a whole chicken.
The table below gives some suggested roasting times but these may vary, and need to be adjusted accordingly, depending on your oven and whether you use a thermo-fan. The best way to tell whether chicken is cooked, is to insert a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh and when the juices run clear, the chicken is done.