Dealing with a Whole Chicken
How to roast a chicken
Traditionally chicken was always roasting for 20 minutes per 450g, or per lb would be more appropriate, at a reasonably high temperature. These days, it’s the fashion to turn up the oven and cook at a high heat for the first 20 minutes and then lower the temperature. Our preferred method, tried and tested over numerous Sunday lunches, is to roast for 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the bird at 220℃. Then lower the temperature to around 180℃ for the rest of the roasting time. This will give you a wonderful succulent bird.
If your chicken is trussed when it arrives, as most of ours are, take of the ties and simply tie the legs together loosely or not at all. This will allow air from the oven to circulate properly and help to cook the legs and thighs.
The key to successful chicken poaching, that is slowly simmering it not stealing one from your neighbour, is to do it slowly and gently. Your poaching liquid should be barely simmering, as cooking too high and too quickly will make the meat tough. Having poached your chicken the meat can be taken from the bone and just about all of it can be used. The remaining stock can be used as the basis for a healthy chicken soup or reduced down to freeze and use at a later date.
Once your poaching chicken has come up to temperature, it will take around 1 – 2 hours to cook.
The economy of chicken
As one of our whole Yorkshire free range chickens is not much more expensive than a couple of chicken supremes, it makes sense to buy a whole one and then joint it yourself.