Wednesday, June 13, 2007
I cook western meals whenever I'm lazy (which is often). Western dinners are so simple compared to Chinese/Asian. The former centers on one main dish, which is usually baked which means you can chuck it in the oven and watch your favorite Korean soap while it cooks. Another plus is you can vary: fish one day, beef one day, pork another day...With Chinese or Asian food, there's a lot of preparation (cutting, marinading, pounding) and the food has to be served real hot so that by the time you sit down with your guests, your face is all shiny from the oil and sweat. Then you also complain about what to cook because a simple meal would consist of at least 3 dishes and a soup, and fish and pork and chicken are featured at one meal.
Gee. All that just because I want to tell you to try roasting chicken next time you don't know what to cook! Ok, I just use coarse salt (so you can taste bits of it) and freshly ground black pepper, and if I want it herby, I use either thyme or tarragon. Rosemary's good too but I associate it too much with lamb. I don't use butter or olive oil either. Important thing is to make sure its well cooked, to the point the legs are loose when you shake it. That'll take at least 1 hour 15 min for a 2kg bird. Truss it if you want to. I don't bother with trussing.
2 kg whole bird
1 t coarse salt
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
1/2 t dried thyme or tarragon
1 lemon, halved (optional)
1. Rub the chicken in and out with the salt, herb and pepper. Leave 30 to 45 min in the fridge. Set oven at 200 C.
2. Put the lemon halves into the cavity if using. You can arrange some potatoes around if like.
3. Place chicken in a roasting pan, add enough water to cover the pan by 1/2 cm (to keep juices from drying out) and bake without basting for 1 hour and 10 to 15 min.
4. Take pan out, spoon juices over chicken. Place chicken on a serving plate, or chop to serving pieces.
5. Pour juices into a small pot, skim off oil, then add some cornstarch water to thicken under medium heat. Add 1/2 T sherry for extra flavor, and season with salt and pepper. Or you can just use the juice straight from the oven (skim off oil) for a simpler gravy.