This was my first ever attempt at cooking a whole chicken! I know, I know its crazy that I’ve got to 32 without cooking a whole chicken but to be honest cooking big pieces of meat has always freaked me out for a couple (or five) reasons
1) I don’t eat a lot of meat, never have and there are some meats I just will not eat such as venison, lamb, some cuts of beef ( I’ll eat mince, but not steak… go figure!).
2) As I don’t eat them, I don’t cook them and so don’t know how
3) I feel uncomfortable cooking big cuts as I’m worried I’ll poison people!
4) I can’t stand the smell of some meat cooking such as Lamb to the point that I can’t even be in the kitchen when hubbie cooks this. He loves lamb! In fact there is not a meat, he dislikes!
5) Touching some raw meat is just icky! Sorry I’m 32 going on 5 in this respect.
However, recently I have been getting more and more confident in the Kitchen and have even cooked large pieces of pork and ham, which have turned out well. This time I thought I’d cook a whole chicken. I do like chicken and often cook thighs, wings, fillets, legs so a whole chicken was the next logical step.
1 whole chicken with giblets removed- I always buy Scottish meat and carefully read the label for country of origin or check for the Scottish flag, but buy what ever you prefer. I try and buy Scottish meat, butter, milk veg etc as far as possible to support Scottish farmers.
100 grams or so of Softened Butter, 2-3 lemons, 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, dried thyme and oregano ( or any other herbs you have), salt and pepper,2 cloves of garlic.
My measurements, aren’t really measurements as I didn’t really measure, but just guessed. Very scientific! Also as this was my first go I just used what I had available in the house and came up with this.
Preheat oven to 220°C
Line a roasting tin with tinfoil ( makes it easier to clean!)
Grate the zest of two lemons. Get the softened butter about 100 grams or so ( should be enough to cover the chicken, but add more if you also want to add butter mix on top and under the skin). Chop the butter into cubes and place in a bowl along with the lemon zest. Add some thyme and oregano ( or whatever dried herbs you have to hand). I used about 1/2 teaspoon of each. Well it was probably more like a heaping 1/2 teaspoon- 1 teaspoon! Add some salt and pepper then mix it all together until combined or use a fork to mash as I had to due to the butter not being as soft as it should be.
Cut the 2 lemons in half and place in microwave for 40 seconds.
Place the chicken into the roasting tin. Then place the lemons halves in the cavity of the chicken, along with the garlic which you should crush with a knife beforehand. Pour any juice that came out of the lemons whilst in the micro into the cavity too.
Rub the butter mixture all over the chicken ( and under the skin if you want, however I didn’t do this see reason 5 above… maybe I’ll get the courage next time!). It helps at this point if the butter is really soft as it will stick to the chicken and make it easier to rub all over. In my photo below you can see, from the clumbs of butter is wasn’t as soft as it should be! I even ended up placing some of the butter into a micro for 10 seconds.
Place the springs of rosemary into the chicken cavity. I used rosemary from my garden however as we don’t have a huge amount growing at the moment and what we have has been eaten by Rabbits I only used two springs, but you could use more or even chop up a sprig or two and add to the butter mixture before rubbing on chicken.
I had a extra lemon lying about so squeezed half over the top of the chicken then sprinkled some salt and pepper over the top.
Turn down the oven to 190°C and then place the chicken in the oven. I cooked the chicken for about 1 hour and 35 minutes, until the juices ran clear. I also used a meat thermometer to check too, helping me to avoid reason 3!