You’ve been craving a home-cooked meal, haven’t you?
Let’s dive into the world of roasting chickens.
This isn’t just any roast chicken, it’s lemon and thyme butter-basted roast chicken with gravy.
You’ll master the art of selection, preparation, and roasting, then whip up some perfect gravy.
Soon, you’ll be serving a mouth-watering meal that’ll have your loved ones begging for seconds.
Let’s get started, shall we?
The Art of Selecting the Perfect Chicken
You’re at the grocery store, and you’ve got to know what to look for when selecting the perfect chicken for your lemon and thyme butter-basted roast.
You’ll want a chicken that’s firm to touch, not slimy or sticky. Don’t be fooled by a glossy packaging; instead, check for a uniform color without any discoloration or spots. It should be a healthy pink, not pale or gray.
When it comes to size, you’re better off with a smaller, younger bird. They’re typically juicier and more flavorful.
Lastly, consider going organic. These chickens are often fed a healthier diet and aren’t pumped full of antibiotics or hormones. It might cost a bit more, but the taste difference can be worth it.
Preparing the Lemon & Thyme Butter Baste
It’s time to start mixing the herbs and citrus zest for your basting mixture.
Grab your chosen herbs, preferably fresh thyme and citrus, ideally a lemon. You’ll want the zest and juice of the lemon, it’s what’ll give your chicken that tangy, invigorating flavour.
Wash your herbs, pat them dry and start chopping finely. Combine this with the lemon zest.
Now, it’s time for the butter – the ingredient that’ll give your chicken a succulent, golden finish. Ensure it’s softened, then mix it in with your herbs and zest.
Finally, squeeze in the lemon juice and stir well.
You’ve now got a vibrant, aromatic butter baste, ready to be slathered over your selected chicken.
It’s a simple yet crucial step towards creating your lemon and thyme butter-basted roast chicken and gravy.
Step-by-Step Guide to Roasting Your Chicken
Now that you’ve prepared your aromatic baste, let’s dive into the step-by-step guide to cooking your poultry to perfection.
First, preheat your oven to 200°C (180°C fan).
Then, season the chicken cavity with salt and pepper, and stuff it with a halved lemon and a bunch of thyme.
Smear your prepared baste over the chicken skin, ensuring it’s well coated.
Place your chicken on a rack in a roasting tray, then slide it into the oven.
Roast for 1 hour 20 minutes, or until the juices run clear when you pierce the thickest part of the thigh.
Don’t forget to baste it every 20 minutes to keep it moist and flavorful.
Once done, rest your chicken for 15 minutes before carving.
Enjoy your perfect roast!
Crafting the Perfect Gravy: Techniques and Tips
While your freshly cooked meal is resting, let’s turn our attention to crafting the perfect gravy to accompany your dish, using a few essential techniques and tips.
First, you’ll need to use those delicious pan drippings. You’ve slaved over that chicken, so don’t waste a drop! Pour them into a saucepan, add a splash of wine or stock, and simmer. This deglazes the pan, lifting all those tasty, caramelized bits.
Then you’ll want to whisk in your flour to thicken. Cook it for a minute or two to kill that raw flour taste.
Serving Suggestions for Your Lemon & Thyme Butter-Basted Roast Chicken
You’ve put in all this effort, so let’s make sure you serve that bird in style to truly impress your guests.
First, allow it to rest before carving. This ensures all the juices stay within the meat, making it flavorful and juicy. When you’re ready to carve, start with the legs and then the breast.
Serve your lemon and thyme butter-basted roast chicken on a large platter, surrounded by a colorful array of roasted vegetables. Potatoes, carrots, and Brussels sprouts make great companions. Don’t forget to pour some of that perfect gravy you’ve crafted over the chicken.
Lastly, garnish with fresh sprigs of thyme and slices of lemon for that extra touch of elegance. Trust me, your guests will be wowed.
What Should I Look for When Buying Fresh Thyme and Lemons for the Baste?
You’ll want to find lemons with a bright, uniform color and firm skin. As for thyme, look for vibrant green leaves without any brown spots. Freshness is key, so avoid anything that’s wilted or discolored.
Can I Prepare the Lemon & Thyme Butter Baste Ahead of Time and Store It for Later Use?
Yes, you can absolutely prepare your baste ahead of time. Just mix your ingredients, store it in the fridge, and when you’re ready to use it, let it soften. It’ll save you preparation time later.
Is There an Ideal Temperature Setting for Roasting the Chicken?
Yes, there’s an ideal temperature for roasting chicken. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). This ensures your chicken cooks evenly, achieving a juicy interior and perfectly browned, crispy skin. Always use a meat thermometer to check.
Are There Any Alternatives to the Ingredients Used in the Gravy for Those With Dietary Restrictions?
Sure, you can substitute ingredients in the gravy to suit dietary restrictions. Consider using gluten-free flour or cornstarch for thickening. For a vegan option, swap out butter for olive oil or a vegan spread.
What Side Dishes Pair Well With Lemon & Thyme Butter-Basted Roast Chicken?
You’re asking about suitable sides for a flavorful roast chicken. Mashed potatoes, roasted veggies, or a fresh green salad are excellent choices. They’ll complement the chicken without overpowering its lemon and thyme profile.
You’ve done it! You’ve mastered the art of selecting, basting, and roasting the perfect chicken. Your gravy is rich and flavorful, a perfect accompaniment to your tender, juicy roast.
Remember, presentation is key, so wow your guests with your serving skills. Sit back, savor every bite, and reap the rewards of your hard work.
You’ve truly elevated your cooking game with this Lemon & Thyme Butter-Basted Roast Chicken. Go ahead, take a bow. You’ve earned it.
LEMON AND THYME BUTTER-BASED ROAST CHICKEN AND GRAVY
- 50 g butter softened
- bunch fresh thyme or lemon thyme leaves picked, stalks reserved, plus extra to serve
- 4 garlic cloves 1 mashed, the other 3 left whole but squashed
- 2 lemons halved
- 1 chicken about 1.5kg
- 2 carrots roughly chopped
- 1 onion roughly chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 250 ml chicken stock
- splash soy sauce optional
- Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. In a small bowl, mash the butter with one-third of the thyme leaves, the mashed garlic and the juice of half a lemon. Mix everything together with some seasoning and set aside.
- Use your hand to loosen the chicken skin away from the breast, then push most of the butter mix into the gap. Rub the rest of the butter all over the outside of the chicken, then stuff the cavity with the lemon halves, remaining thyme leaves and stalks, and the garlic.
- Scatter the chopped carrot, onion and bay leaves over the base of a small roasting tin. Sit the chicken on top, breast-side up, and roast on the middle shelf for 1 hr 30 mins, basting with the buttery juices after about 40 mins. When the chicken is dark golden, crispy-skinned and the juices run clear, remove from the oven and leave in the tin for 5 mins. Use a pair of tongs to pull the lemons, garlic and thyme out of the cavity and into the tin. Lift the chicken up, letting any juices dribble into the tin, and transfer the chicken to a serving platter to rest for at least another 15 mins.
- To make the gravy, squeeze the juice out of the cooked lemon halves and discard the skins. Place the tin on a low heat, stir in flour and sizzle until light brown. Gradually pour in the stock and cook for a few mins. If you like a darker gravy, add a splash of soy sauce to the tin. Strain the gravy into a jug and serve with the chicken.