My signature dish has been encouraged by our family’s requests more so than anything I’ve specifically set out to master; roast chook. In my mind, it is one of the easiest options for any busy cook too.
My tips for the perfect roast chook:
- Make sure you bring the bird to room temperature before cooking. In temperature climes, this means taking out of the fridge between 30 minutes to 2 hours before cooking; in hot, humid conditions, between 10-15 minutes should do it, but always err on the side of caution when dealing with uncooked poultry.
- Always turn the wings so the tips sit under the bird: this will help the breast cook more evenly.
- Cook in a preheated oven and make sure that the oven rack is at the right level for the size of the bird.
- Roast the chook breast-side up to start with then cover the breast with foil to prevent it drying out. With time, this step may not be necessary as experience will tell you when the chook is ready and you'll be less likely to overcook it.
- Always rest the chook breast-side down for at least 20 minutes after cooking. Don't skimp on the resting time: a well-rested chook served at room temperature will be infinitely more moist and flavoursome than one that has been served immediately after cooking.
- If you have a meat thermometer, test the temperature 10 minutes into the resting time by inserting it into the thickest part of the thigh joint: a perfectly cooked chicken will be 65-68C.