Thursday, 14 July 2011

Clearing the cobwebs

It's almost a month since I last updated this blog. I am feeling terribly guilty of neglecting 'this part of my life' that I fear my blog has already collected a thick layer of dust. I apologise for my tardiness, especially to all of you who have remained my loyal readers. I think it is time now for me to wipe off the dust and clear away all the cobwebs.

I wasn't really busy with anything over the past month. In fact I was rather 'inactive' if not for the usual household chores that kept me 'moving'. I could only blame it on the weather. Thanks to the poor design and layout of my house, I feel like I am living in a sauna :'( The heat and high humidity makes me feel so sluggish that I have no mood to do any baking. All I want is to go somewhere cold to hibernate than to sweat it out in the kitchen.

I can stop all baking activities but cooking is something I cannot avoid. I have never liked cooking since my cooking skills remains the same, that is, I am forever a novice. I am so tempted to eat out or opt for takeaways everyday, but, my conscience has prevented me from doing so. Nothing beats home cooked meals, even if it is something as simple as roast chicken.

I have been following this recipe whenever my boys craved for a roast chicken. Lately I got lazy, and relied on a new recipe which is so much easier and simple to prepare. Most importantly, the recipe always yields a crispy skinned roast chicken.

The key to the crunchy crisp skin is this secret ingredients...corn starch. What a valuable lesson I have learned from the Living Magazine! This is such a simple roast chicken that anyone can prepare. All you need to do is to wash and clean the whole chicken (believe it or not, this is a task that I took a while to pick up the courage to do!), pat it real dry, inside out, and rub some butter all over the skin, including under the skin. Butter will help the chicken to brown evenly. The next thing is to rub a combination of salt, pepper and corn starch all over the chicken, including the cavity and of course under the skin to add flavour to the meat. I like to add in some dried mixed herbs as I love the smell of the herbs when the chicken is roasting. It is perfectly all right to leave it out or you could do with some fresh rosemary (finely chopped). I don't truss the chicken as I don't know how to do it, plus, I think it is not an absolute must. The last step is to place it in a roasting pan (preferably one that comes with a rack, to encourage even browning) and leave it to the oven to the finish the job as it is not necessary to baste the chicken. In about an hour's time, you will be rewarded with a golden crispy chicken, not forgetting the inviting aroma of the roast chicken...I feel so proud for myself as I am very certain my neighbours could smell it and would probably think their neighbour must be a good cook!

I would usually baked some potatoes together with the chicken, but this time, I left them out, and served the chicken with some salad instead. I have also served the chicken with tortilla wraps, making it an interesting meal for my kids.

Besides the crispy skin, the meat is tender and juicy, even the chicken breast tastes good, soft and moist. This is mainly due to the ingredients used. The salt and corn starch will lock in the moisture as the chicken roasts. It is certainly a no-frills, no-fail and yet delicious meal that I would go back again and again. I am not so concerned about the fat, as most of the fat from the chicken melts and drips away during roasting. I am always amazed by the amount of oil that is collected in the roasting pan. It makes me think that a roast chicken is a much healthier choice than deep fried ones. Of course, the pan juice is best used to make a flavourful sauce out of it, but I have given up on it as I was too zealous trying to spoon off every single drop of fat that I was left with not much of juice to work with, lolz. 

I hope this post has help wiped off some dust, and I believe I will be back soon, and hopefully it will be something to do with baking.

Crisp-skinned Roast Chicken

1 medium-size chicken
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly grounded black pepper
1 teaspoon corn starch (also known as corn flour)
1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs (optional)
1 knob (about 1 tbs) unsalted butter, soften at room temperature


Combine salt, pepper, corn flour, mixed herbs (if using), set aside.

Wash, clean and pat the chicken dry (very dry) with paper towels all over, including the cavity. Rub the butter all over the chicken.  With fingertips, gently separate the skin from the meat of the chicken breast and rub some butter under the skin. Rub the seasoning mixture over the chicken and inside the cavity, and push some seasoning mixture under the skin.

Tuck the wings underneath the chicken and place it breast side up, on a roasting pan (preferably with a rack). Cook in preheated oven at 230 degC for around 10-15 mins then turn down to 200degC for around 40-45 minutes or until the skin is nicely browned. To test whether the chicken is done, pierce the tip of a knife near the joint between the drumstick and the thigh. The juices should run clear (not pink), if it is still pink, cook the chicken a little longer. Let the chicken rest for 15 minutes before serving. This allows the juices to settle and redistribute and the chicken will be much more succulent.

Recipe source: adapted from Living Magazine


Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

I going to make this tomorrow, running out of idea what to cook, the crispiness of skin, especially my son Desmond love to eat cripy skin. Maybe i should bake a foccacia to goes with this roast chicken..YUM YUM Thanks for sharing and have a nice day ahead.

Anonymous said...

Yr chicken looks so crispy and delicious. Will bake one tomorrow for dinner. Thanks. Theresa

Cosy Bake said...

Wow, I would definitely love to give is arty. Looks really good!! Thanks for sharing!

Passionat About Baking said...

Oh wow! Thanks for sharing such a tip on crispy chicken! Hahaha...I'd like to think that you're a good cook too! I'm sure the aroma in your kitchen would have flowed to your neighbour's all the time! I don't mind being your neighbour too, just to get the smell!
Me too! I think the easiest for me is also to do a roast chicken. And I love to add rosemary to my chicken too! Thanks again for sharing the tip, it'll definitely come in useful! Btw, I should also follow your style, get tortilla wrap to go with it! Sounds really yummy!

Hearty Bakes said...

Love the crispy skin. I want to try this for my next roast. At the look of it, I know it must be very fragrance!

MH said...

Hi! Welcome back! :) Glad to see your post again! Have been "peeping" daily why no new post from you after the June school holiday? How's your short trip? :D
Your roasted chicken looks so beautifully baked & yummilious that I think I would get a whole chicken later and start baking tonight... never mind about the heatiness from roasted stuff... one meal "gao ding"! Xie Xie ni! :D

Jean said...

i usually don't eat chicken skin because they're drenched in oil and I'm not too fond of the texture...but I'll finish up everything for yours! looks really crispy and tasty :)

sherlyn said...

I share what you said and feel, except that I am still a novice in baking and cooking. LOL.
Indeed, I am too busy with "alot" of things but cooking is something that I cannot avoid (and yes conscience doesn't allow me too). I did a simple dessert but not yet posted.
Guess what, I have two big drumstick in the freezer and so I hope I can try this recipe out. The skin on the chicken you did looks so crispy.
I still has no guts to try a whole chicken. :-)

Happy Homebaker said...

Sonia, foccacia will be good with the roast chicken! This roast chicken is almost like a deep fried chicken, except that it is juicy and not dry.

Theresa, I hope you will like this recipe :)

Honey boy, do drop me note after you have tried it.

Hi Jane, I want to be your neighbour too :) My kids can play with yours :):)

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Jessie, yes the roast chicken is very fragrant :)

dear MH, thanks for your concern :):) really appreciate it! yes, this is the kind of one dish meal that everyone will enjoy, easy for mummies like us!

Jean, this recipe will yield crackly crisp skin. The key is to pat the chicken very very dry before seasoning.

Sherlyn, if you are using drumsticks, you need to reduce the cooking time so that the drumsticks will not dry out. The best is to roast a whole chicken, this way the juice will retain and the meat will be succulent. Do give it a try!

Swati Sapna said...

Welcome back! We all have these phases of laziness for no apparent reason :) so don't worry... jus keep on the posting now that ur back in action! The roast chicken does look delicious!

Aimei said...

Thanks for sharing the recipe! Can make such roast chicken for my hubby next time! Hee..

Unknown said...

Good to see you again on the blog! This roast chickens sure looks good and surpass the standard of a novice cook. Hope to see more cooking from you ^_^

happybowl said...

that absolutely looks like restaurant

Edith said...

I have a phobia of cleaning a whole chicken. Thus most chicken dish that I cooked is already chopped. LOLz. Seeing this makes me wonder whether I should get a whole bird to try it.

Anonymous said...

Hi, thanks for the tip on using cornflour to get the crisp skin on the chicken. I've tried it today and I'm very pleased with the results. Instead of using mixed herbs, I've used 5-spice powder and it is as fragrant. : )

Aiman said...

welcome back. I missed your posts. This chicken looks gorgeous, and simple.

Florence said...

Don't neglect this blog again, k? You are missed when you don't write! :)

Happy Homebaker said...

Swati Sapna, thanks for your kind words, I will try my best to keep this blog going!

Aimei, I am sure you will be baking and cooking up a storm in your new kitchen :)

Fong, there is no cooking required...I am still a lousy cook ;)

happybowl, it is really delicious :D

Edith, you should try it, you will never regret it!

Hi Anonymous, I am glad your turn out great! Will try 5 spice powder next time.

Thanks Aiman!

Florence, will try my best to blog as frequent :)

Cosy Bake said...

Hi Hi,

I tried making this crispy roast chicken, it was really good!! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I'm always confused by the oven?
I've 4 symbols on mine and I only use the one that bakes ie: top and bottom
which one do I use for roasting?
thanks plenty

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi you may check your oven's instruction manual? For my oven, it is top heat with a fan symbol below.

Anonymous said...

Hi HHB, I tried this roast chicken recipe last week and it turned out great! It was my first time roasting a whole chicken. My hubby asked if I could roast a chicken for dinner and I was so glad that I've bookmarked your recipe. We totally loved the crispy skin. Even the breast meat was good. Thank you for posting such an easy and tasty recipe. I think the hardest part was cleaning up the bird. haha. Took me quite a while too, to overcome this. Thank you again!

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Butterfingers, glad to hear that you have overcome cleaning a whole chicken ;) You can now try with other roast chicken recipes!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'm also keen to try your recipe with a lemon in the chicken cavity:) I hope you will enjoy this holiday with your wonderful kids!!!

Elmo said...

Hi, I had tried your recipe twice. It gave a crispy skin and moist chicken meat which I really love. But It smokes the entire house and the oil splatters all over the oven. Do you have the same problem? Can you give me any advice to avoid the problem? I really like this recipe but the cleaning part is really a pain.

emma's mummy said...

Hi, Happy home baker

Thanks for sharing this recipe, and your reply about removing fat around neck area for lemon and rosemary roasted chicken. I did this crispy chicken over the weekend. Every one in the family is happy.

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi emma's mummy, great to hear that everything turns out well :)

Chocolatecandyfloss said...

This looks soooo good! I'm going to try make this tonight... hopefully can thaw out my chicken in time! Thanks for sharing!