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Poulterer’s Secrets to the Perfect Roast: Pt 1

There’s nothing better than a delicious roast with all the trimmings, but for some of us roasts aren’t always the easiest thing to get right. We approached our expert poultry Traders to find out their secrets when it comes to roasting, and rounded up a few hints and tips you can try at home.

From how to store your bird to prep work and, of course, cooking, our Traders recommendations will ensure you get the perfect roast every time.

D & J Poultry

Stella at D & J Poultry recommends removing the chicken from the bag when you get home from the Market, gently washing it with cold water and then storing it in the fridge on a plate covered in glad wrap.

“When buying poultry for a roast, I always like to choose portions with bones to ensure my roast is juicy and doesn’t dry out. If you don’t like portions with bones, adding chicken stock can really help maintain the juiciness and flavour,” Stella says.

Stella recommends preparing your roast by seasoning the chicken with salt and pepper. Then, combine honey, lemon and garlic in a bowl and brush half the mixture on top of the chicken. Put a slice of lemon on the chicken or on each Maryland and place it in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees. After around 10-15 minutes brush the remaining mixture onto the chicken.

It takes approximately 40 minutes per kilo for a whole roast chicken to cook. Stella likes to baste her roast around every 30 minutes to ensure the chicken doesn’t dry out.

“If you notice there’s not enough juice to baste with or your roast appears a little dry, which can sometimes happen with boneless cuts, adding chicken stock or water can help to maintain the moisture,” Stella advises.

Leaving the chicken to rest for 10-15 minutes after cooking will keep the roast juicy.

And what does Stella like to cook when roasting at home?

“A classic whole roast chicken is always nice this time of year and it gives a range of portion options for the whole family. Roast chicken Maryland is also great, as they’re already portioned, full of flavour and remain juicy when roasted.

“I like to serve my roast with oven-baked potatoes cooked in duck fat and seasoned with lemon juice, oregano salt and pepper. It’s simple and easy but very tasty.”

Kevin’s Farm Fresh Poultry

Mark from Kevin’s Fresh Poultry stores his chicken differently in preparation for a roast. He recommends removing the chicken from the bag, drying the skin and cavity with a paper towel and then storing in the fridge uncovered, until removing 2-3 hours prior to cooking.

Doing this helps to crisp up the skin and Mark has plenty of tips to get a crispy-skinned roast chicken:

  • Prick the skin all over (including the legs and wings) with a toothpick.
  • Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper.
  • Stuff the cavity with a lemon left whole and fresh herbs.
  • Truss the legs up with some kitchen string.
  • Place the chicken breast side up on a rack in the baking dish so the air circulates around it in the oven.
  • If you don’t have a rack, place some chopped vegetables in the baking dish and put the chicken on top of them to keep it off of the bottom of the dish.
  • Cook the chicken in a really hot pre-heated oven at 220 degrees (200 fan-forced) for 20 minutes to sear the skin. Then turn the oven down to 190 degrees (170 fan-forced) to cook the chicken.
  • After cooking, make sure you let the chicken rest for 20-30 minutes. This helps the chicken keep its juices in.

How long does a chicken take to cook?

Mark says “A 1.5kg chicken will be perfectly roasted after 1 hr 20mins at 190 degrees (170 fan-forced). It doesn’t matter what you stuff into it, rub or sprinkle over it or even put around it; this timing never changes. Remember this and you’ll always be able to roast a chicken.”

Mark recommends serving up your crispy bird with a side of crunchy roast potatoes, honey baby carrots, green beans, and gravy.

Kevin’s Poultry Whole Free Range Chicken

Now you can shop online with D&J Poultry and Kevin’s Farm Fresh Poultry with Food Lovers’ Direct. Click here to start browsing their range.

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