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Usually at the weekend I try to cook us a roast dinner of some sorts. I confess, it is usually roast chicken. We love roast chicken and this recipe for Roast Chicken with a Lemon & Herb Stuffing is one of my favourite ways to prepare it.
You cannot go wrong with a roast chicken. It is a great economy, giving you (most times) not one, not two, but more often than not three tasty meals or even more!
There are not too many things you can say that about, except for maybe a turkey. Roast turkey is the meat that keeps on giving, and giving, and giving, lol.
A roast chicken won’t quite give you as much meat as a roast turkey. You will not have so much leftover that it will make you tired of chicken as a turkey might do, but having said that I never tire of either one!
On the first day you get the lovely roast dinner, and this is a spectacular one. You end up with incredibly moist and delicious chicken with a nice crisp skin. The chicken itself gets flavoured from the inside out by a delicious Lemon and Herb Stuffing.
Plus you get the bonus of roasted potatoes which roast along side of the chicken absorbing some of the chicken flavours. Part of them are crisp and parts of them are sticky. All of them are yum!
It helps when you are going to roast a chicken to have a really good chicken to begin with. I love buying my roasting chickens from a butcher.
They are normally air dried which means that the skin gets really crisp and flavourful . . . not like a grocery store chicken which has spent days sweating under plastic cling film.
They are also usually organic and free range. Not always, but usually. Since lock down started back in March I have been getting them from the Butcher at the Chester Indoor Market who have been just wonderful at delivering to all of those who are sheltering at home.
Their birds are lovely and plump. Best I have ever tasted actually. Nice and plump and juicy and flavourful. I have no complaints.
So you get the roast dinner on the first day. This particular recipe results in a lovely roast chicken with crisp skin and succulen meat.
As well you get that beautiful lemon and herb stuffing. I adore stuffing and this version is very good. Normally I don’t stuff the bird itself, but when I made this stuffing I do. Its beautiful. In all honesty, I double the stuffing recipe and cook the extra in a baking dish along side of the chicken.
At the end I will stir the stuffing from the bird into the stuffing which has baked in the dish. So you end up with some crunchy buttery bits mixed with moist bits which have been flavoured by and in the chicken itself.
You also end up with those lovely roasted potatoes. Oh my, so lovely. Parts of them get a bit sticky from the chicken juices and other parts are crisp and golden. I don’t know which parts I love most.
You also end up wih a beautiful anf flavour filled gravy. For me you have to have stuffing and gravy with a roast chicken dinner. Both are a must.
I went all out this last weekend. We had the roast chicken as well as the stuffing, and I cooked turnips, sweet potatoes, carrots and peas to go along with everything else.
Everything turned out beautifully. It reminded me of one of my mother’s chicken dinners. We did not have roast chicken very often. When we did it was a real treat.
My sister and my dad were not fond of Roast Turkey so much as they were fond of Roast Chicken. So every now and then mom would roast us a chicken. I have always enjoyed both chicken and turkey.
On the firs day we would have the roast dinner, and then the next day we would have leftovers. If we were really lucky mom would make her homemade pot pies. Oh but we all loved her pot pies.
Leftover meat would be cubed and mixed with cooked vegetables. Usually peas, carrots and corn, or maybe a frozen mixed vegetable mix which also included green beans. She would also add cubed cooked potato and chopped onion with some summer savoury for seasoning.
Leftover gravy would be stirred in. (Mom always made plenty of gravy) That would be the filling. It would be layered between two short crust pastry crusts and baked to perfection. They were to die for.
She would do this with turkey or beef, or pork, or chicken. All were real treats for the whole family. She could usually get two family sized pot pies. One for us to eat on the day and the other to pop into the freezer for a later time.
The carcass would then be used to make soup. My mother made the best soups. I learned how to make soup from her. She would make turkey or chicken soup, depending on the carcas, or pea soup if she had a ham bone leftover.
We all loved her soups. After we were all grown up if we went home to visit it was always a real treat for her to break out a container of frozen soup from the freezer and heat it up for us.
I remember in the January after my last marriage broke up my mother bringing me some of her homemade soup to the house I was staying in. I had the flu actually. I had been in bed for days and she caught wind of it and was there in double time to bring me some of her soup medicine.
I have never forgotten that simple kindness or how very welcome that soup was. A loving mother’s hug in a bowl. Oh how I miss her.
So anyways, here you have it again. Yet another tasty recipe for a delicious roast chicken. You can never have too many ways of roasting a chicken.
That’s my story anyways, and yes, I am sticking to it! You can’t get much better than this!
A delicious moist perfectly cooked roast chicken with a crisp skin, flavoured from the inside out with a fabulous Lemon & Herb Stuffing. Potatoes roast along side becoming delectably crisp and sticky.
prep time: 15 Mincook time: 1 H & 45 Minactive time: 20 Mintotal time: 2 H & 19 M
For the Stuffing:
2 TBS butter
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 TBS chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp chopped fresh sage leaves
the finely grated zest of one unwaxed lemon
the juice of 1/2 lemon
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 3/4 cup (100g) of fresh soft white bread crumbs
You will also need:
1 large free range roasting chicken (between 3 1/2 and 5 pounds in weight)
a knob of softened butter
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
a few thyme leaves
the juice of half a lemon
1 1/2 cups (375ml) of good chicken stock
6 to 8 medium potatoes peeled and cut into large chunks
2 TBS flour
Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Have ready a nice deep roasting pan.
Melt the butter for the stuffing in a skillet. Add the onion. Cook, stirring over low heat, without browning, until it is meltingly soft, about 10 minutes. Tip in the herbs, lemon zest, lemon juice and bread crumbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Allow to cool completely. (Save the squeezed lemon carcass)
Place your chicken into the roasting pan. Stuff the cavity lightly with the bread stuffing. Slather the chicken breast all over with a knob of softened butter. Sprinkle with some sea salt and black pepper and a few thyme leaves. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over top. Place the lemon carcass into the roasting pan around the chicken along with the one you used for the stuffing. Scatter the peeled vegetables around the base of the chicken. Sprinkle lightly with some salt and herbs. Pour about half the chicken stock around the chicken and vegetables.
Roast for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours, basting with the pan juices and turning the vegetables over halfway through the baking time. When done the juices should run clear from the chicken when pierces between the thigh and the breast and the legs should feel quite loose when gently twisted. Remove from the oven. Remove the chicken and vegetables from the pan to a serving platter. Loosely tent with foil to keep warm. Leave it to rest for about 20 minutes, while you make the gravy and cook any additional vegetables you want to serve.
To make the gravy, pour the pan juices out into a jug. Pour a bit of boiling water in the roasting pan and scrape up any juicy browned bits. Pour this into the measuring jug. Spoon about 2 TBS of the fat from the jug into a saucepan, discarding the remainder of the fat. Heat the 2 TBS of fat over medium heat until bubbling. Whisk in the flour and cook for about a minute. Slowly whisk in the pan juices from the jug, whisking until the mixture begins to bubble and thicken. Taste and adjust seasoning as required. Allow to simmer over low heat for a few minutes to get rid of any flour taste.
Serve the chicken sliced, along with some of the gravy, the stuffing, the roasted potatoes, and of course any other vegetables you have prepared. Delicious!
This content (written and photography) is the sole property of The English Kitchen. Any reposting or misuse is not permitted. If you are reading this elsewhere, please know that it is stolen content and you may report it to me at: mariealicejoan at aol dot com
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