When you’re cooking as a day to day job, or should I say night to night?, your perception towards food is different. Sometimes nibbling on what your preparing is enough to keep you hanging till dinner service is done and you can actually sit down and have dinner from the food you prepared. As much as you love food, sometimes it gets to a point that you only need to eat for your body not to fail you. While on some days, you’re craving something so bad you won’t let the day end without having it.
Except when it’s a roast chicken.
That needs a day’s dedication. I kept postponing that craving for the past two months till Easter day lunch. The day before I went shopping and got myself an actual roasting tray with a rack included. Where have you been all my life? I’m saved now from soggy chicken bottoms. Crispy all around FTW.
A couple of friends were joining for a late lunch following the loaded Easter breakfast. I secluded in the kitchen for a good two to three hours. I was happy.
While roasting a chicken, some things should be kept in mind in my opinion. Seasoning and moisturizing. You need to pat dry the bird then apply the seasoning on the skin and inside. Salt and black pepper work fine. Pepper flakes. Coriander seeds. Cumin. Go crazy.
Another thing, butter the breasts. They are the least fatty part of the bird, and being on top and exposed to heat, they’ll dry as all fat will drip down to the bottom of the tray. Olive oil, butter, flavored/herb butter, or whatever fat you’d like. Basting? Maybe, but ain’t nobody got time for that.
I like to roast my chicken on medium heat for a longer period of time. The oven will be between 180° and 200° and it goes for around 2 hours. The meat will fall off the bones. The drumstick can be easily pulled out clean.
I LOVE roasting half boiled potatoes and tossing them in the fat drippings. The fat is so rich with flavors as it is rendered from the chicken with the salt, herbs, and aromatics that I added. Those flavors are transfered to the soft starchy potatoes. I like to roast them until they’re crunchy on the outside unless we get really hungry, then we’re fine with however they are.
Coriander Roast Chicken with Potatoes in Fat Drippings
Serves 6-7 persons
- 2 whole chickens (1.5kg each)
- 8 cloves garlic
- 1 bunch coriander
- 60g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 tbsp rock salt
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns
- Olive oil
- 2 large onion
- 2 carrots
- Aromatics, including cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon,…
- 5-6 medium potatoes, skin on, cubed
- Start by taking the chicken out of the fridge to bring its temperature a little bit closert to room tempreture, to cook evenly. Make sure it is properly cleaned. Pound the salt and pepper in a mortar and pestle and set aside
- Either in a food processor, or in a mortar (I am liking this pounding action lately to be honest) start by smashing the garlic into a paste with some salt and olive oil. Add half of the coriander bunch, leaves and stems, pounding in batches until smooth. Pound in the butter or mix it in a bigger bowl to incorporate
- Pat the bird dry with paper towels. Lift the skin of the breast and spread third the butter herb mixture and lather to spread well. Repeat with the other bird. Make a slit with a sharp knife on the thighs and stuff with half of the remaining butter and repeat with the other bird. Fill the cavaties of the bird with the aromatics, the rest of the coriander, reserving some leaves for decoration, carrots, and one onion divided. Make sure the wings are on the sides and under the chicken to keep it looking good. To ensure the legs will remain in good position, use a butcher’s twine to tie the legs of each chicken together
- Heat the oven to 180ºc. Fill the roasting tray with a couple of tablespoons olive oil and sliced onion and place the birds on the rack of a roasting tray. Roast for 1 and a half to 2 hours, until the skin has browned and turned crispy
- In a large boiling pot of salted water, boil the potatoes until just tender. Drain in a colander and toss a bit to roughen the edges
- Take the tray out of the oven and increase the heat to 220ºc. Carefully remove the rack with the chickens and set aside. Toss the potatoes in the drippings with the onions and return to the oven for around 20 minutes until crispy. You can warm the chicken in the oven by making room for them over the potatoes and putting them back in the oven for 10 minutes
- Serve immediately in the same roasting pan with a nice green salad on the side
- Don’t forget that leftover chicken can be used in so many delicious ways