Extra Tasty Roast Chicken
"This was the year I found out where my destiny would lie !
We were heading on our first holiday as a family ever. It was the summer of ‘88, a glorious year and we had just sold the shop to Mr Singh and we were off to the motherland ! Kenya!"
Yes ladies and gentlemen, Kenya not India, as a lot of you may think.
My parents were both born in East Africa under British rule. My mother came from a businessman’s family in rural Kenya and my father from the capital,Nairobi.
It was here I was able to appreciate the amazing wonder of food! Seeing my uncle's sugar cane farm, where they produced unrefined sugar, to seeing a group of Africans spice up a whole deer and bury it in the ground with a BBQ fire above it. As a young boy this was like seeing a real life beautiful naked girl for the first time! Mind blowing! and a memory you never forget !
Whilst there I tasted vegetables, meat , poultry like no other. It was my Mother’s family that were amazing cooks and I clearly remember the community spirit in my Mum's village. We all know that there was a lot of conflict between communities in India following independence and the Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, and British did not really see eye to eye.
However, in Africa this was not the case and all communities of people lived in total harmony, whilst the British also treated the Indians with respect along with the local African community, a golden age apparently.
My parents speak with such fondness of their time growing up in Kenya and one subject that was always spoken about was food! Food glorious food! Can you imagine the amazing melting pot of culinary expertise, from every community?
This was experienced a lot and clearly evident especially during religious festivals such as Christmas, Easter, Diwali, Eid and many more.
There were no boundaries, no conflict, only great bloody food! Bloody hell, I sound like John Lennon, just proves the power of food!
With this new passion in my heart, I had to tell my family I wanted to be a chef and not a doctor! It was going to be difficult, it was going to be a hard task to convince an Indian family of my intentions, harder than world peace . So, I devised a wicked scheme and I think I’m safe now to come clean. I went and did my Hotel Management degree to keep everyone happy and the folks could see me in a cap and gown for my graduation.
Now with this wealth of French and Italian sorcery, and a major sprinkling of South-East Asian magic, I have now after years of life training become the self titled ‘The Spice Guy’!
I am learning so much about spices and the benefits they have for us, and I was very excited to find that spices are everywhere, intrigued as to where I could find them and shocked to find them in places you’d least expect.
I was inspired many months ago, whilst sitting in the pub enjoying my Guinness and dry roasted peanuts, not my first choice, they had run out of salted nuts, I started to read the ingredients, and low and behold, they were cooked in lots of spices, I did not realise!
So, it got me thinking? Spices can enhance the taste of possibly anything, similar to salt. Imagine life without salt! I then gave myself my first assignment- to enhance the flavour of chicken.
With many months of failed tests, and lots of roasted chickens later, I had a breakthrough!
The most perfect blend of spices, that when used will make your roast chicken sing and your taste buds dance.
It’s adaptable to your tastes. You want a more garlicky chicken, add some extra garlic and watch how the spices work their magic to bring you a spectacular garlicky chicken.
You fancy a more herby chicken? Add a bag of fresh chopped herbs and watch how the spices mellow leaving you with a mouth watering herby dish!
The recipe to make the best roast chicken is now available on the website and you can purchase the blend directly there too.
Your Sunday Roasts will never be the same folks.
Love The Spice Guy
Ingredients & Equipment
- Whole Chicken Medium size - Organic if possible (cooking times will vary)
- Whole Lemon
- 15g Best Butter
- 2 Tbsp - Olive Oil
- 3 Tsp - The Spice Guys - Extra Tasty Roast Chicken Rub
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Deep Oven Dish
- Oven Tray for water
- Remove the chicken from the packaging and all the string and remove the wing tips and place to one side.
- Make a little cut at the back of the chicken to allow you to release a little skin to allow you to get your finger under the breast, between the skin and meat.
- Make a little cut between the leg and the breast, again to allow you to get under the skin.
- Soften the butter in a microwave for a few seconds until it's melted but not bubbling.
- Add the olive oil, butter and The Spice Guy’s blend to a bowl and mix throughly. Season with salt & pepper to your liking
- Start to loosen the skin and push your finger along the breast to slowly release the skin.
- Don’t try to push your fingers too much to release the skin on the breast, because when you add the spice mixture, you can push it and it will spread naturally and not tear the skin of the chicken.
- Take a teaspoon and slowly pour the spice mixture into the gap between the skin and the meat.
- Repeat the process on the legs and massage it all over so the mixture is inside the chicken under the skin.
- Save a little of the mixture back as we can spread more of the blend all over the outside of the chicken.
- Let the chicken marinade for 30 mins to an hour outside of the fridge to allow it to slowly come to room temperature. You can cover it under a large bowl or with foil.
- Turn on your oven to full blast.
- After the chicken has come to room temp, add the rest of the spice over the whole chicken if you have not already done so.
- Place the whole lemon in a pan of water and bring to the boil. Boil for 5 minutes.
- Remove the lemon and retain the water.
- Place the lemon into the cavity of the chicken and place into a deep oven dish, then pour in some boiling water to the side of the dish approximately 2 cm deep . DO NOT POUR ON TO THE CHICKEN
- Place the chicken into the oven on the middle shelf and then place an empty baking tray at the bottom of the oven. Fill with boiling water and then close the oven door.
- The steam in the oven will help keep the chicken tender.
- Leave the chicken in the oven for 15 minutes on a full blast.
- After 15 mins turn the temperature down to 150C and cook for approx 1hr 15mins or as the packaging states. This based on a medium sized chicken 1.3kg - 1.5kg
- Organic chicken can take a little longer depending on size.
- I really recommend a food probe to take your cooking to the next level, as then you don't have to guesstimate your measurements and calculations.
- Use a probe in the thickest part of the breast as it needs to be at 70 C as per government guidelines.
- After about an hour check the temperature of the chicken and if you want crispy skin then turn the oven up full for the last 15 mins.
- Place the chicken on a warm plate and rest - the juices at the bottom of the pan can be used as a gravy.Thicken with cornflour or arrowroot, season with white wine or single cream, if using white wine cook out the alcohol.