A beautifully roasted chicken is hard to beat; with crispy skin and succulent meat there's nothing quite like it. Having a whole roast chicken is a rare thing for me, indeed this is the first chicken I have roasted in a very long time and I wasn't about to waste a scrap of it. The chicken that was to fulfil my roast chicken dreams was a local, free range, corn fed bird. This post is about my perfect Sunday lunch and making the most of the leftovers.
You will need:
A chicken (I used a 1.4kg bird for two)
Salt and pepper
Start by cutting the string off the legs and stuffing the cavity with a few sprigs of thyme and half a lemon. Cut the onion up into chunks and put them into a roasting tin with the other half of the lemon and a few more sprigs of thyme. Put the butter into a bowl and mix in some salt and pepper. Now comes the slightly tricky and disgustingly satisfying part; separate the breast meat from the skin. I use a spoon to do this to minimise ripping the skin. When skin and meat are sufficiently separated, stuff some of the butter under the skin. Rub the rest of the butter onto the outside, put in to the roasting tray and roast in the oven at 160C for an hour or so or until cooked through.
It can't be denied that roast chicken with roast potatoes and all the trimmings is a fantastic meal but for two people there's an awful lot of surplus chicken! Using the roasting tray and all the lovely bits to make the gravy is a must; the lemon gives it a brilliant flavour.
When all the meat had been stripped from the carcass the bones were used to make chicken stock. I boiled the bones up with a carrot, a bit of leek, bay, parsley and black pepper. I managed to get about a litre of stock which is now sitting in the freezer waiting for a soup to be made. After a few pieces of cold chicken for dinner with pickles and whatnot I was left with a big bowl of leftover chicken. The next couple of posts will be all about making something delicious with these leftovers.