Angel Hair with Beetroot Pesto & Roast Lemon Rosemary Chicken

Angel Hair with Beetroot Pesto & Roast Lemon Rosemary Chicken

Hello Everyone! I know that one of my Mom’s family friends had been asking for this recipe from way back when she showed a picture of this dish to her at the time I put it together (probably back in July); well I’m glad to say that’s it’s finally here and I do apologise for getting it up really late.

I mentioned in my last post that I have a lot of personal and work stuff going on, and things have still been a bit rough – actually to be honest, I don’t think it is as rough as I say it is, but let’s just say my mind has the tendency to drift into a dangerous place which turns my usual cheerful mood to the complete opposite from time to time and I haven’t been able to get out of it since last week. I guess my mood has been making me think that it’s been rough; maybe I should stop listening to Sam Smith’s “Too Good at Goodbyes” on repeat … I can’t get enough of it though because it’s a really good song, but on the other hand, it’s putting a lot of unnecessary thoughts into my head. Well on top of that I guess it doesn’t help that work is getting crazy busy that I can barely keep up with it. Anyway I’m not here to talk about this, so onward with tonight’s recipe!

Angel Hair with Beetroot Pesto & Roast Lemon Rosemary Chicken

As you know, or maybe not depending on if you’ve read my post from the beginning of the year back in January, or if you already know this from your own research and reading, there are nitrates in the juice of beetroots that have been found to bring down one’s high blood pressure within just 24 hours. If you’re not a keen beetroot juice drinker, you can easily add this vegetable to your diet by roasting or steaming the whole root and then add it to a green-packed salad, stir-fry, stew, or in this case, make a nutty and creamy beetroot pesto that’s far from tasting beet-y the way beets do for those who don’t sit well with its taste.

Tonight’s recipe is so much more versatile than just adding it to your favourite pasta. It is a delicious sauce for your salads, pizza, and appetizers to spread on to toast with eggs or dip crudites in for the ultimate seasonal flavour fix! You can pair your Angel Hair Pasta with a delicious and juicy road chicken breast or keep it completely vegetarian. I’m sure there’s a vegan recipe for beetroot pesto as well, just don’t forget to replace your pasta with a vegan-friendly one.

You can find the original recipe that I referred to for this Beetroot Pesto over on Akis Petretzikis.

Beetroot Pesto Ingredients

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 30 MINS | SERVES 6

INGREDIENTS

For the beetroot pesto sauce

  • 400g whole raw beetroot, washed
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 grated parmesan
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 500g angel hair pasta

For the roast lemon rosemary chicken*

*I’ve linked my recipe for Lemon & Thyme Roast Chicken which is essentially they same except that I replace the thyme with rosemary just because when I went grocery shopping that weekend, they didn’t have fresh thyme on the shelves but had rosemary instead. You can top your pasta with some chicken or keep it meat-free; it’s completely up to you!

METHOD

  1. In a pan of boiling salted water, boil the beetroot for about 15-20 mins or until tender. Drain and leave to cool before peeling (wear clean rubber gloves to peel if you want to avoid beet-stained hands). Reserve about a quarter cup of small cubed beets to garnish on top of your pasta dish.
  2. Roughly chop the beetroots in to small chunks and purée them in a blender for about 30 to 45 seconds.
  3. Add the olive oil, garlic, and season with ground sea salt and black pepper to taste. Continue to blend for another 30 seconds before adding the chopped walnuts and grated parmesan. Blend until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
  4. Cook the angel hair pasta according to packet instructions in a pot of boiling salted water. It should take no longer than two minutes, but I like to slightly undercook my pasta since I will be further cooking it again.
  5. When the pasta is ready, reserve some of the pasta water and drain. Add the pasta back to the pot and stir the beetroot pesto in. Add the pasta water if necessary to make the sauce as creamy as you like. Once coated, turn the heat off and divide equally to individual dishes.
  6. Top the pasta with the grated zest from 1 lemon, extra grated parmesan, more chopped walnuts, and the beetroot cubes. Optional to serve with juicy slices of Roast Lemon Rosemary Chicken. Enjoy!

Angel Hair with Beetroot Pesto & Roast Lemon Rosemary Chicken

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Roast Barbecued Chicken

Roast Barbecued Chicken

Roast Barbecued Chicken

Hello Everyone! As of today I have been working 24 days straight – 3 Sundays of work, and another to look forward to this weekend. I cannot wait for a public holiday coming up next week, and then two Sundays off before I head back into another 2 Sundays of work towards the end of May. I know, I shouldn’t be complaining since I only work for about 2-3 hours on Sundays, but I guess it’s the fact that I have to get up early and do work in humid and ventilation-challenged areas makes it a depressing start to the ONLY weekend I have. Yeap, this is my life now. Anyway! Sorry to start off all moody and what nots; I have been feeling a little burnt out and just not in the mood these past couple of days – I’m hoping that I can change that with a little bit of rest… Hopefully.

Tonight’s recipe is one that I have been hesitant of sharing on my blog because it’s my Mom’s special barbecue marinade recipe. We finally came around to a decision to share it on the blog, and so I will be sharing her ever so deliciously finger-licking good marinade for a whole roast chicken. We usually fire up the barbecue for this recipe, but recently we have been roasting the meat in the oven for a healthier option to charcoal-barbecued chicken. You can also use this marinade for pork or lamb. I once brought some yummy pork bellies to a barbecue party that my colleague hosted a few months back. It was a great hit amongst my other colleagues and so I believe that they’ll be overly happy to know that I am posting the recipe for my Mom’s special barbecue marinade on the blog.

Roast Barbecued Chicken Ingredients

PREP TIME 20* MINS | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR 35 MINS | SERVES 6

*plus 4-6 hours of marination, or preferably overnight

INGREDIENTS

  • 2kg whole chicken, washed and cleaned thoroughly
  • 1 bulb garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 heaped tbsp hot & spicy UFC Banana Catsup
  • 1 heaped tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 heaped tbsp oyster sauce
  • Ground salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Juice of 5 calamansi
  • Cooking twine

METHOD

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix well until combined. Coat your chicken in the marinade and then leave in the fridge to marinate for about 4-6 hours (or preferably overnight). Remove chicken from the fridge 45-60 minutes before roasting to bring it back to room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 230C (450F or gas mark 8). Line a baking tray with aluminium foil and place a rack above it.
  3. Start by making a loop with the twine and fastening it around the stub of the neck. Bring it around the sides and tie a knot at the cavity, then pull it tight around the breast. Now, loop the twine around the drumsticks and tie another knot, tightening it until the legs cross.
  4. Place the chicken on the rack and into the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes. The lower the heat down to 175C (350F or gas mark 4) and continue roasting for an hour and 20 minutes more until cooked all the way through.
  5. Once done, remove the oven and set aside to rest for about 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Roast Barbecued Chicken

Roast Barbecued Chicken

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Butterflied Buffalo Roast Chicken

Butterflied Buffalo Roast Chicken

Butterflied Buffalo Roast Chicken

Hello Everyone! Wow, I cannot even begin to tell you guys how mentally and physically drained I am right now – well, if I am to talk about today in particular, it’s probably not from having worked for 17 days straight already with Sunday breaks, but because I probably had (not even) too much to drink. I said not even because I know that what I had a few hours ago was not my maximum capacity, but I’m feeling tipsy and sleepy already. My boss called for a “brainstorming” session after work hours which actually turned out to be a chill session with dumplings and beers (red wine for me because I’m sophisticated and classy af) haha!

Anyway, all that aside that the fact that I have to work this coming Sunday again, tonight’s recipe is a favourite of mine – I mean, who doesn’t like buffalo chicken?! We can’t be friends if you don’t like it; I’m serious. I served mine with a simple kale and roasted chickpea salad with crumbled blue cheese on top. Buffalo chicken goes well with anything blue cheese! Be sure to check out the original recipe over on Food.com; the original recipe calls to actually brush the sauce mixture onto the chicken, but I marinated the chicken in the sauce mixture instead to absorb all the yummy flavours into the flesh.

Butterflied Buffalo Roast Chicken

PREP TIME 20 MINS* | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR 35 MINS | SERVES 6

*plus 4-6 hours of marination, or preferably overnight

INGREDIENTS

  • 2kg butterflied whole chicken, washed and cleaned thoroughly
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 – 1 & 1/2 tbsp tabasco sauce (or more if you like a good punch)
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 bulb garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp ground smoked paprika
  • Ground salt and black pepper, to taste

METHOD

  1. Combine all the ingredients, except for the butter, in a large mixing bowl. Mix well until combined. Coat your chicken in the marinade and then leave in the fridge to marinate for about 4-6 hours (or preferably overnight). Remove chicken from the fridge 45-60 minutes before roasting to bring it back to room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 230C (450F or gas mark 8). Line a baking tray with aluminium foil and place a rack above it.
  3. Place the chicken on the rack and into the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes. The lower the heat down to 175C (350F or gas mark 4) and continue roasting for an hour and 20 minutes more. Baste the chicken with a little bit of butter at every 20 minute intervals.
  4. Once done, remove the oven and set aside to rest for about 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Butterflied Buffalo Roast Chicke

Butterflied Buffalo Roast Chicken with Salad

Butterflied Buffalo Roast Chicken with Salad

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Honey-Roasted Chicken

Honey-Roasted Chicken

Honey-Roasted Chicken

Hello Everyone! Before I begin with this post, I just want to say that I just realised that two Sunday’s ago was quite possibly the last Sunday that I had off and I probably won’t see another relaxed Sunday at home until the beginning of June. Yes, you read that right! Last Sunday I got up at the wee hours of 3:55am to get ready for work. WORK! Last Sunday we kicked off our month-long sporting event with a 2km and 10km Run that started at around 7am. Our team had to be there by 5am to help set up, prepare, and do a lot more things in order to ensure a smooth event. I was also event photographer that morning so I was constantly moving here and there for a good 5 hours. Though it wasn’t a whole day/night event, it was still tiring – I mean, getting up at 4 in the morning is tiring enough especially when I couldn’t sleep well the few hours before. Anyway, so this Friday will be another opening ceremony, this time for Badminton, and then on Sunday again for Basketball.

Besides my 7-day working months from now until June, I’m thrilled to say that my blog will be turning 2 years old on Saturday! I’ll be posting a recipe up on that day to celebrate 2 years of not giving up on this blog – which I believe is a first! I’ve started up many blogs before (but mainly diary-style) and so far I’ve been able to keep up with this one! I won’t say anymore and save the rest of my tangents for Saturday’s post. Anyway, it’s week 2 of delicious yummy roast chicken and I’ve got a classic recipe to share with you. To be honest, whenI first came across this recipe, I found it weird how it had a hint of ground cinnamon and turmeric in it which in my opinion dominated the honey flavour just a bit. I’ll admit that I much preferred the taste of last week’s roast, but this one is alright too. You can eat it with a whole load of roast veggies and fresh greens, or steamed rice. Don’t forget to check out the original recipe over on SBS.

Honey-Roasted Chicken Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS* | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR 35 MINS | SERVES 6

*plus 4-6 hours of marination, or preferably overnight

INGREDIENTS

  • 2kg whole chicken, washed and cleaned thoroughly
  • 8 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp ground tumeric
  • Thumb-sized ginger, minced
  • Butter, for basting
  • Ground salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Assorted veggies, for roasting
  • Cooking twine

METHOD

  1. Combine all the ingredients, except for the butter, in a large mixing bowl. Mix well until combined. Coat your chicken in the marinade and then leave in the fridge to marinate for about 4-6 hours (or preferably overnight). Remove chicken from the fridge 45-60 minutes before roasting to bring it back to room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 230C (450F or gas mark 8). Line a baking tray with aluminium foil and place a rack above it.
  3. Start by making a loop with the twine and fastening it around the stub of the neck. Bring it around the sides and tie a knot at the cavity, then pull it tight around the breast. Now, loop the twine around the drumsticks and tie another knot, tightening it until the legs cross.
  4. Place the chicken on the rack and into the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes. The lover the heat down to 175C (350F or gas mark 4) and continue roasting for an hour and 20 minutes more. Baste the chicken with a little bit of butter at every 20 minute intervals.
  5. Once done, remove the oven and set aside to rest for about 10 minutes before serving with seasonal roast veggies, or steamed rice. Enjoy!

Honey-Roasted Chicken

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Chilli, Paprika, Tarragon, & Worcestershire Roast Chicken

Chilli, Paprika, Tarragon, & Worcestershire Roast Chicken

Chilli, Paprika, Tarragon, & Worcestershire Roast Chicken

Hello Everyone! A new month means a new theme on the blog! If you have been following my blog on a weekly basis, you’ll probably know that two months ago I did a series on Healthy Eating, Salad Edition. During that time, I always paired my salads with a yummy roast chicken on the side. So for this month, I thought I’d share with you 4 different marinade recipes that are sure to bring your love for roast chicken to another level!

Tonight, I’ll be sharing a recipe that I kind of just threw together in a few minutes only with the items that I had in my fridge and pantry at that time. I was about to head over to a friend’s house, and I promised that I would cook something for him while he used my face as a canvas to practice his make-up skills. I had no idea what to bring over because I know that he is quite a healthy person. So I decided to roast some chicken breast fillets for us. The chicken I had to buy though because I don’t really eat the breast parts, so I walked over to the grocers and got a fillet each for the two of us. Then when I got home, I basically grabbed some herbs, spices, and basically whatever else I could find that I knew would/could make a nice flavour combination. I didn’t even use any measurements for this as well, I just dabbed in a whole lot of Worcestershire sauce, olive oil, chilli, paprika, and the works. I initially used fresh thyme leaves at the time since that was what I had in the fridge.

Chilli, Paprika, Tarragon, & Worcestershire Roast Chicken Ingredients

To be honest, I wasn’t sure what this would taste like. When we had these breasts fillets (after only having marinated them for about an hour or so), it was simply delicious! My friend really loved it and wanted to grab the recipe off from me too. I remember how he had a hard time trying to pronounce Worcestershire, so he ended up calling it the “Wot-shit-shit” sauce. When he went to the grocers one time, he called me up to ask which section was the sauce shelved at and I told him to ask one of the staff. He didn’t want to only because he didn’t want to ask “excuse me, where is you wot-shit-shit sauce?” Haha! Ever since then, I’ve made this recipe a couple of times for dinner gatherings with friends when I was still living in Sydney – and I’ve also made it for myself to pair with my salads. This was the first time that I had made it for my family and they too love it. I switch out the fresh thyme for fresh tarragon only because the grocers had that instead of thyme – but it tastes just as good!

Chilli, Paprika, Tarragon, & Worcestershire Roast Chicken Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS* | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR 35 MINS | SERVES 6

*plus 4-6 hours of marination, or preferably overnight

INGREDIENTS

  • 2kg whole chicken, washed and cleaned thoroughly
  • 4-5 sprigs of fresh tarragon
  • 1/2 bulb garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Butter for basting
  • Cooking twine

METHOD

  1. Combine all the ingredients, except for the butter, in a large mixing bowl. Mix well until combined. Coat your chicken in the marinade and then leave in the fridge to marinate for about 4-6 hours (or preferably overnight). Remove chicken from the fridge 45-60 minutes before roasting to bring it back to room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 230C (450F or gas mark 8). Line a baking tray with aluminium foil and place a rack above it.
  3. Start by making a loop with the twine and fastening it around the stub of the neck. Bring it around the sides and tie a knot at the cavity, then pull it tight around the breast. Now, loop the twine around the drumsticks and tie another knot, tightening it until the legs cross.
  4. Place the chicken on the rack and into the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes. The lover the heat down to 175C (350F or gas mark 4) and continue roasting for an hour and 20 minutes more. Baste the chicken with a little bit of butter at every 20 minute intervals.
  5. Once done, remove the oven and set aside to rest for about 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Chilli, Paprika, Tarragon, & Worcestershire Roast Chicken

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Quinoa, Avocado, & Grapefruit Salad with Lemon and Thyme Roast Chicken

Quinoa, Avocado, & Grapefruit Salad with Lemon and Thyme Roast Chicken

Hello Everyone! Hope everyone had a good weekend! I’m finally feeling better than I did last week, but my voice is still a bit husky. I can’t hit the high notes to a song whenever I’m performing in the shower, so I know I’ve still got a bit more of getting better to do. Other than that, things have been pretty chill at work – but I know it’s going to be hectic soon! There are two event coming up within the next 3 months, so I pray that I will have enough strength to persevere through! Over the weekend, my very first Uni friend from COFA (or now known as UNSWAD) visited me here in Brunei! It was so surreal as I never thought that we would meet… in Brunei! He is currently working on a project in KL and he had a free weekend to spare to come over for a visit! We toured him around a few places in Brunei, and we also caught up on work life, love life, and just anything else in general. I cannot believe that it had been exactly a year since we last saw each other in Sydney! It was definitely a great weekend.

Anyway! It’s week 3 of healthy eating month and I’ve got another quinoa recipe to share with you guys. As you already know, or not if you haven’t been following my blog on a week to week basis, quinoa (pronounced as KEEN-wah) is very beneficial to our health. It is incredibly nutritious as its fibre content is much higher than most grains. It is also very high in protein, containing the essential amino acids that we need . Quinoa contains a great amount of minerals – minerals that we other do not get enough of, especially magnesium, potassium, and zinc. If you would like to read up more on the health benefits of quinoa, click here. Pair it with some heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acid avocados, grapefruit and orange segments, and you’ve got yourself a salad that is packed with minerals and vitamins such as: calcium, copper, fibre, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, protein, zinc, and vitamins A, B5,B6, C, E, and K, and the list goes on.

Quinoa, Avocado, & Grapefruit Salad with Lemon and Thyme Roast Chicken Ingredients

PREP TIME 20 MINS* | COOKING TIME 40 MINS | SERVES 5-6

*Plus 4-5 hours waiting time to marinate the chicken.

INGREDIENTS

For the Salad

  • 100g feta cheese
  • 2 cups chicken stock*
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 grapefruit, segmented
  • 1 orange, segmented
  • 1 packet (250g) rocket leaves

For the lemon & thyme roast whole chicken legs

  • 500g whole chicken legs, washed and cleaned
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-3 springs of fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • Juice of 1 lemon

*You can make you own stock by boiling chicken carcasses for about half an hour, together with whole black peppercorns, bay leaves, and salt. Or you can use the store bought ones, again, whatever tickles your fancy.

METHOD

  1. Combine all the roast whole chicken leg ingredients in a large baking dish. Leave to marinate for about 4-5 hours. Preheat oven to 190C. Sprinkle the chicken legs with paprika and place the baking dish in the oven and roast chicken for about 40 minutes or until done.
  2. Bring the quinoa and chicken stock to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Once boiling, reduce heat down to low, cover, and then simmer until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Once done, fluff with a fork and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the sliced avocado, feta cheese together with the herbed olive oil, grapefruit, orange, and rocket leaves into the large mixing bowl together with the quinoa. Give it a good toss until well combined.
  4. Transfer to a serving dish together with a piece of lemon and thyme roast chicken leg.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Quinoa, Avocado, & Grapefruit Salad with Lemon and Thyme Roast Chicken

Quinoa, Avocado, & Grapefruit Salad with Lemon and Thyme Roast Chicken

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Caesar Salad with Lemon & Thyme Roast Chicken

Caesar Salad with Lemon & Thyme Roast Chicken

Hello Everyone! As mentioned at the end of my last recipe post on Lemon & Thyme Roast Chicken, I made a Caesar Salad to go with the roast. A quick and healthy dish (excluding the mayonnaise), to easily pack and take to work with you, which is exactly what I did last week.

Caesar Salad with Lemon & Thyme Roast Chicken

I have a funny, but quite saddening story on my part about this. So as usual, I always pre-pack my lunches the day I make them, which is usually on Monday afternoon, and I made the decision to add the caesar dressing in the morning before going to work because I didn’t want the lettuce leaves to soak in the dressing overnight. Tuesday was fine, but I completely forgot to add the dressing on the salad for Wednesday. I specifically remembered to do it when I woke up in the morning, and even had it running in my mind throughout my morning shower. But for some mystical reason, it slipped my mind and it only hit my that I completely forgot to add the dressing was when I was halfway through the journey to work by bus. I was so devastated when I came to that realisation. I was too devastated that I didn’t even look forward to having my lunch that day. I now know what it’s like to eat rabbit food. Rabbits must have such a hard life to have to go through this every single meal of every single day.

All that aside, even though I had bottled caesar dressing sitting in the fridge, I decided to make my own (sort of) caesar dressing. I say ‘sort of’ because I used bottled mayonnaise; if you really want to go all out, then be my guest and whip up your own healthier version of mayo! Anyway, I wanted to give making my own caesar dressing a go since I had all the ingredients to make it possible already in the pantry. Maybe my next challenge will be to make my own mayo too! Also, I accidentally left the croutons in the oven for a little bit too long that they were overly tanned, but thankfully not burnt. Oops! I made the mistake of not setting a timer to remind me that they were in the oven; I think at that time I was busy carving the chicken. (I picked the least tanned ones for the photographs)!

Caesar Salad Ingredients

Croutons Ingredients

Caesar Salad Dressing Ingredients

PREP TIME 20 MINS | COOKING TIME 10 MINS | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

  • Baby cos lettuce, washed and sliced
  • Garlic infused olive oil
  • Mini stone-baked pane di casa, cut into small chunks
  • Roast chicken slices

For the caesar dressing

  • 1/3 cup free range egg mayonnaise
  • 4 anchovy fillets, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed then minced
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • Handful of grated parmesan
  • Salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Spread the small chunks of bread over a large baking tray lined with parchment paper and sprinkle the garlic infused olive oil over them. Rub the oil into the bread and season with a little salt if you like. Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes, turning the croutons a few times during cooking so they brown evenly on all sides. Once done, remove from the oven and set aside.
  2. Combine all the ingredients for the caesar dressing into and small bowl and whisk together to combine.
  3. Plate up the baby cos lettuce and the roast chicken. Drizzle a generous amount of the dressing, and top with the croutons, shaved parmesan, and a bit of cracked black pepper.

Caesar Salad with Lemon & Thyme Roast Chicken

You can skip the chicken if you wish for a great light salad for lunch, and for those who want to bulk it up so that it’s not just leaves, have it with the chicken of course! For this salad, I carved up the breast parts from the whole roast chicken that I posted the recipe to last week. Check it out here on the blog for those of you who missed it!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Lemon & Thyme Roast Chicken

Lemon & Thyme Roast Chicken

Hello Everyone! Today’s recipe is pretty much what the title says, a classic whole roast chicken. I know some of you guys out there, myself included, would’ve probably rubbed some herds onto the skin and then pop it in the oven to roast away. I kid you not, I have had my fair share of roast chicken, homemade or from the grocers and almost every time the chicken is quite dry, especially the breast parts (which is why I hated eating chicken breast while growing up as a kid). It wasn’t only until recently I learnt about a cooking technique known as brining (submerging in salted water at the very basic) when we roasted a whole turkey for last year’s Noche Buena. It feels weird saying last year when it was technically less than a month ago. Anyway, the turkey was super moist and flavoursome! So I decided to try out brining again with a whole chicken.

Lemon & Thyme Roast Chicken

Keeping your bird juicy isn’t that hard – all you need is the right seasoning, and a little bit of patience and motivation to add that extra step before having your lunch or dinner. It does pay off though! Brining chicken not only adds moisture to the chicken, making it nice and plump, it also helps prevent it from drying out when you cook it. The result is a delicious, moist, and juicy chicken. In addition, not only does it affect the texture and juiciness of your chicken, it also affects the taste. A few hours, or even better if overnight, in brine will let the salt penetrate deep into the chicken meat, enhancing its natural flavour. Of course, there is one disadvantage. All the extra water that ends up in the chicken can make it harder to get a crispy skin. Luckily, that’s easy to fix. If you’re going for crispy skin, just let the chicken air dry in the refrigerator for an hour or so. Yes, it does take the extra effort, but it’s so easy to do!

Lemon & Thyme Roast Chicken Brine

So what actually happens during the brining process? A little bit of high school science for you!

  • Diffusion: This occurs when particles move from a region of higher concentration to an area of lower concentration. So, as we have established above, the brine has a lot more salt in it than the chicken. Therefore, to balance things out, the salt gets absorbed by the chicken – not just on the surface, but all through the meat.
  • Osmosis: This is when water (or another liquid) moves through a membrane from one region that has more water to another region that has less water. This is exactly what happens when you brine chicken. The brine has a lot more water than the chicken, so the water moves through the chicken cells, from the brine to the chicken.

Lemon & Thyme Roast Chicken Brining Process

Lemon & Thyme Roast Chicken Brining Process

Salt is the most important ingredient when brining chicken. It actually doesn’t make the chicken salty in the end, but as explained above, really enhances the chicken’ natural flavour. You can also add some other seasonings to your chicken brine, and they’ll work the same way and diffuse into the chicken. If you’re planning on using extra seasonings in your chicken brine, you’re going to need to boil it. Otherwise, the flavors just won’t penetrate the chicken. Think of it as if you were making tea – if you try making it with cold water, nothing happens. You need the heat to leech the flavour out of your seasonings. But remember to cool your brine down first before submerging your chicken into it. Not only does it end up cooking the chicken just a little bit, it also creates a bacteria farm that could potentially make you sick.

Lemon & Thyme Roast Chicken Ingredients

PREP TIME 24 HOURS* | COOKING TIME 2 HOURS | SERVES 6-8

*This includes the brining process.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2kg whole free range chicken, washed and cleaned
  • 3L water
  • 3/4 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
  • 1 medium-sized spanish onion, halved and sliced thinly
  • 1/2 lemon, sliced
  • 2 tsp chicken stock powder
  • Few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • Handful of whole black peppercorns
  • 50g butter, chilled

The basic ratio of salt to water for a brine is 4 tablespoons of salt per litre of water.

METHOD

  1. Start by clearing out a space big enough to fit a bowl large enough to hold your chicken in the fridge. Line two plastic bags over your bowl, or if you don’t have one large enough, a cooking pot will do. Place your chicken into the bag, and set aside.
  2. Combine half of the water and all the ingredients, except the butter, chicken, and wine, in a large cooking pot and bring to a slight boil to allow all the flavours and seasoning to incorporate into the liquid. Once boiling, let it boil for a further 5 minutes before removing from the heat.
  3. Add the remaining water and the wine. Set aside to cool down completely. There are other ways of cooling down the brine faster if you are short on time, or a little bit impatient. You can submerge the pot in cold water, or even add ice to the brine.
  4. Once the brine has cooled down completely, slowly and carefully pour it over the prepared bowl/pot of chicken. If there is too much liquid, do not panic! Simply lift the plastic bags up and then pour the remaining brine in.
  5. Tie the bags ups nice and tightly and refrigerate for a few hours, or overnight. If you’re going for crispy skin, just let the chicken air dry in the refrigerator for an hour or so before roasting in the oven.
  6. Preheat oven to 190C. Line a deep baking tray with foil and place a wire rack above it.
  7. Using cooking twine, tie the drumsticks together as well as the wings to hold them in place while roasting. I don’t actually know how to tie the wings properly, so that’s how I tied mine! I don’t even know if tying it the way I did is how it’s done either!
  8. In a small bowl, combine the butter with a few thyme leave, mashing it together just by using your fingertips, and then rubbing it all over the chicken.
  9. Add the garlic and onions from the brining liquid to the drop tray, as well as a little bit of the brine. This will later add flavour to the gravy that you can make combined with the drippings from the chicken. Just combine the pan drippings into a small sauce pan and add flour to thicken it up.
  10. Place the chicken on the wire rack, and into the oven for about 2 hours.
  11. Once done, remove from the oven and tent it for about 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Serve with steamed rice or mashed potatoes and veggies. Alternatively, you can serve with is a nice Caesar Salad which is what I did – stay tuned for the recipe on Tuesday!

Lemon & Thyme Roast Chicken

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

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