discovering a simpiler life

discovering a simpiler life

Monday, 15 July 2013

Super Chicken

Sussex chickens I'd love for our yard,
one day soon
How amazing are chickens? I've got a dream to have some free ranging in our yard in the next year or so. We are in the middle of finishing off a backyard reno so not really the right time but it will happen.  I was lucky enough to see a baby chicken hatch at fun4kids childrens festival in the school holidays and it almost brought a tear to my eye, amazing.
Here he his working his way
 into the world
It could seem in bad taste that I talk and show pictures of chickens in a blog that is to be about roast chicken, but we can't live in denial. Its the way things are. I'm not that keen on thinking too much about it but if I am going to eat chicken I want it to have had the best life possible, so I'm free range all the way.  If you are someone who likes the pre-cooked chickens from the supermarket, or buys 2 for 1 for $5.99,  my one wish would be you compare the taste to a free range chicken. Too expensive I hear some of you say, well yes they are but they need space to roam, good quality feed to eat, care is what you are paying for and in turn that creates better flavour.  Those cheap chickens are squashed into cages on top of each other, nothing to scratch up like grass or worms, no fresh air and are pumped full of hormones and water and is that really what you want to be eating? Just some food for thought.....

So, unless you are vegetarian, many of us eat chicken a few times a week.  The thing I love most about a free range roast chicken is you not only get the juiciest and tastiest chicken as it’s cooked on the bone, it lasts our family for 2 dinners making an $11 bird a bargain.  

The beauty about a roast chicken is you can use it for so many different dishes and put an assortment of different flavours on it. But for this beauty, its a traditional roast dinner with gravy and roasted vegies I'm chasing.

I roast all my meat over a wire rack with water in the bottom. This is so the fat and any juices collect in the water as it reduces,  steams and creates its own lovely gravy to be thickened once the fat has been skimmed off. I use a jug to collect the juices and put in the freezer for 30 mins. The fat rises to the top and solidifies so is easy to take off.

Take your bird and pat it dry with some paper towel. Remove any excess fat around the opening of the carcass.  I use herbs and garlic and/or an onion to stuff the chicken with to add flavour not to eat.  For this one I used rosemary, sage, mint, parsley stalks and 4 cloves of garlic. Dose with a good amount of sea salt, pepper and a light dusting of sweet smoked paprika.  A little tip with the paprika is to use a tea strainer to get it really finely sprinkled.  It is more for the added colour it gives than flavour. Drizzle with a little evoo and put into 180c oven for around 2 hours. 

Use a meat thermometer if you are unsure, it should read around 90c. I pull the drumstick away from the carcass slightly to check the meat is cooked closest to the bone, the last thing you want is raw chicken.  The meat near the bone will still be slightly dark red, due more to the colour of the dark meat not from blood when its cooked.

Rest your chicken on a tray for at least 30 mins covering with foil, collect any juices to add to the gravy.  The juices should be clear and not bloody, if it is bloody after the first few minutes of resting, put it back in the oven for another 10 mins or so. And that’s your chook cooked!!

Yes he is missing a leg, I keep forgetting to take
the finish photos,
too eager to get eating!!!
Ciao, Jan


  1. Nice one Jan :) I am also an avid Free Range Advocate so love seeing all your free range education. Ben & i would love to have a few girls in our backyard too. Hopefully one day. Keep up the good work, you're making me hungry :)

    1. Glad to hear you are enjoying the reading Sez xxxx

  2. Hi Jan, thanks for your lovely comment on my blog All my photos are taken with my Canon 7D DSLR. I have just read all your posts and loved reading about the bread post. I make focaccia all the time and on the school holidays made turkish bread for the first time. A bit more fluffy around in steps but it was lovely. We make rosemary and sea salt focaccia bread and it goes in about 5 mins whenever I take it anywhere. It's my standard go to bread.

    I have just gotten into The River Cottage myself and got a DVD from the library called "The River Cottage Treatment" the kids and I loved it. They take a bunch of fast food addicts and put them on the farm for a week and make recipes that they would normally buy and see how they go for taste and time....hands down they all loved the home cooked. They have a big thing on organic and free range chickens as well which was great. Hugh tells them that they are going to have pizza tomorrow night but have to make the pizza oven first and the next night they make the dough and make pizza that cooks in 2 mins.....they are blown away by the taste and flavour.

    We have 2 chickens at our house and we only let them free range when we are in the backyard ourselves so get yourself set up with a chook house and start getting those fresh eggs...can't beat them. I know you have got a dog now so just make enough room for them to roam around in a large run.

    My other family blog is called if you get a coffee and want a read. I set up www.oursimpleandmeaningfullife.blogspot to post mostly things that relate to doing things simplier.

    You will love having a blog. At the end of each year I get my blog printed into a book with BLURB. It took a whole 10 mins from start to finish as it slurps up your whole blog pictures and all and then you have a beautiful hardcopy. I get mine done as I stopped scrapbooking a few years ago so these stories and photos basically become the scrapbook. Less work. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

    1. Thanks for your lovely reply Kathy!! I love Hugh and the Rivercottage, we have been watching his series on Austar for 15 years and have seen the 'treatment' one you talk of, an Australian version is just started airing on Austar, but I love Hugh the best.
      I didn't realise you could print it off, what a wonderful thing to do!! I'm just learning and need some tips to put font over my pictures and how to add links to other blogs, but I'll get there!!
      Will definately check out your other blogs. Thanks for reading :)


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