This morning we headed to the Riddells Creek Farmer’s Market, in the Macedon Ranges to have a browse around and to pick up a pasture raised chicken and a tray of eggs that I had ordered from Hand to Ground during the week.
Not only did I come home with the chicken and eggs, I also grabbed a piece of rump steak from Warialda Belted Galloways and some beautiful hand-made doughnuts from Iliknas Country Delights – they were absolutely delicious.
A roast chicken is very much a staple on our week menu plan – and the leftovers, if there are any, can be turned into many dishes i.e. chicken salad, ramen noodle soup, chicken noodle soup, sandwiches or rice paper rolls.
I tend to rotate the flavours I use seasonally when I make this dish. As our lemon tree is very much full of fruit at the moment that is the base flavour with salt & pepper, lemon thyme and butter – as Ina Garten always says “everything is better with butter”
Preheat your oven to 220 degrees Celsius – the oven needs to be hot to crisp the skin.
A beautiful pastrure raised chicken is a thing of beauty in my opinion.
Nestled comfortably on a bed of sliced lemons, red onion and a handful of lemon thyme. I drizzled a little olive oil onto the chicken and around the base of the dish and added a dash of water or even wine to create a lovely sauce with the pan juices.
Place the chicken into the hot oven and cook for 30 minutes. Once the 30 minutes is up, turn the oven down to 170 – 180 degrees and cook for a further 1 hour and 20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the bird reads 75 degrees Celsius or 165 degrees Fahrenheit on a meat thermometer. You do this by inserting the thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh.
Once the thermometer has reached the magic number, take out of the oven and let the chicken rest for at least 30 minutes to let the juices re-distribute back into the meat.
There you have one of the tastiest dinners you will ever eat. It is a classic for a reason. Warm, comforting and absoutely delicious – one of my favourite meals.
You can serve this with roasted vegetables, a green salad with a classic vinegrette or just come beautifully sauteed greens.