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Perfectly Roasted Chicken

Perfectly Roasted Chicken is a great comfort food. And the bonus is that the kitchen will smell great while the bird is roasting in the oven.

Be sure to spend a bit extra on the main ingredient: the chicken. It will definitely pay off to buy a free range chicken; the taste of the meat is so much better!

So, first about the chicken. I personally prefer biological free range chicken both from a standpoint of animal welfare as well as from the perspective of quality and taste.

For a long time, I bought chicken fillets or legs for my meals. But cooking a whole bird is something different altogether. So, don't be scared, go out to your supermarket and buy yourself a good whole bird.

One of the trickiest aspects of roasting chicken in the oven is getting it cooked all the way through. The meat between the thighs and the body will likely be the last to reach appropriate cooking temperature. This is because the heat has to "travel" farthest from the outside to this spot.

One surefire way to avoid unevenly roasted chicken is to partially butterfly the bird. With a knife almost separate the legs from the body, cutting through the bone but not the meat or skin on top of the leg.

In order to make sure the meat stays tender and moist, I like to stuff a herb butter between the breasts and the skin. My favorite mixture is garlic, rosemary, sea salt - and butter.

In order to be able to stuff the butter inside, you first have to loosen the skin from the breast. This has to be done carefully; you don't want to break the skin. I use a soup spoon and wiggle it in, as shown below.

Now we can stuff this space with the herb butter. Also put some butter in the space between leg and body.

Rub the whole outside of the bird with the remainder of the herb butter.

In the cavity of the bird, insert half of a clementine or lime or lemon, whichever you have available. This will increase the wonderful smells during the roasting.

With a piece of string, loosely tie the legs together, there has to be room for the heat to enter into the chicken.

Place the chicken into an oven dish, breast side up.

Preheat the oven to 90 degrees Celsius (194 degrees Fahrenheit). Put the bird into the oven and slow-cook it for 45 minutes, occasionally taking it out to baste with the juices in the oven dish.

Now turn the oven heat up to 180 (356 degrees Fahrenheit) and brown the chicken. While browning, rotate the dish every five minutes (some older ovens have an unregular distribution of heat, which would cause uneven browning).

Serve with a side dish, such as grilled vegetables. Carve the chicken at the table. The legs are easy to cut of as we have cut through the joints already. Carving the fillets requires some insight into the anatomy of the bird. The video at the bottom of this post will give you some hints.

Bon Appetit!