Kitchen Cadets: French roast chicken

all details

Curious cook Atticus, pictured, age 5, is delighted by the naked bird sitting on the kitchen bench. He squishes the butter under the chicken skin, his small fingers made for the intricate work. He is far from put off by the task, focusing instead on getting butter into the hard-to-reach nooks. Teach a man to fish, and he'll never go hungry; teach a kitchen cadet that it's perfectly fine to handle raw meat and they'll never turn into a fussy, "that's yukky" adult cook.

Ingredients

  • 1 large free-range chicken
  • 70g butter, softened
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon, halves reserved
  • ½ cup finely chopped parsley
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • 8 thyme sprigs
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed, skin removed

Method

Preheat oven to 190C. Wipe the chicken cavity with a paper towel and remove excess fat.

Combine butter, lemon zest and chopped parsley in a small bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. With clean hands, slip two fingers under the skin of the chicken around the cavity and, being careful not to tear the skin, create a space between the skin and the chicken breast. Push three-quarters of the butter mixture into the space under the skin as evenly as possible. Spread remaining butter mixture over the chicken skin, drizzle with lemon juice and a little olive oil, and season. Fill the cavity with thyme sprigs, garlic and reserved lemon halves, then tie legs with kitchen twine.

Place chicken in roasting pan and roast, basting chicken with pan juices every 20 minutes, until skin is crisp and golden and chicken is cooked through, about 50 minutes to one hour.

Let the chicken rest, covered with foil, and serve just above room temperature with a green salad, roast vegetables or green beans. 

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  • Main Ingredients - Chicken
  • Course - Main-course

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