Jamie Oliver’s Roast Chicken with Orange

Despite the weather here being so very different than the warm Easter weather I grew up with I wanted to cook a traditional Easter dinner so I roasted a chicken, but instead of just roasting it I wanted to make it a bit more special. 

And with all the snow and the cold wind a roast dinner seemed just perfect.

So, as I do at all times of culinary need I turned to Saint Jamie.

I adapted his recipe slightly, due to not being able to get the fresh vegetables and herbs he suggests.  I dropped the carrot and celery as I just can’t get them and went with just onions to make the bed to roast the chicken on and used dried herbs with butter to put under the skin instead of adding a handful of fresh herbs to the orange in the cavity.

The smell of the orange in the cavity was wonderful and Allan says that the meat was tender and moist with just a hint of citrus.  It was a definite hit.

I always put herb butter under the skin of a bird when I am roasting it as it really does keep the breast meat moist and is almost a self baster.  The tip I picked up from Jamie Oliver of using a spoon with turned upside down to slide under the skin to loosen it which allows you to push the butter in and massage it into the meat really is simple and works well. 

It seems to be a lot of butter but as most of it ends up in the roasting pan it isn’t as unhealthy as it might sound.   The herbs stay under the skin and give a dark colour to the roasted bird and flavour the meat wonderfully.

I rely on my meat thermometer to make sure that the chicken is cooked perfectly, 160 degrees being the aim.

Jamie Oliver’s Fragrant Roast Chicken

I served this with creamed potatoes, Jamie’s perfect roasted potatoes, cauliflower a la royale and broccoli.  We all enjoyed every bite, especially Bob who had two helpings… with gravy, of course!

Jamie Oliver’s Roast Chicken
• Chicken approx 1.6 kgs
• 2 medium onions
• Olive oil
• Salt and pepper
• 1 orange
• 1/2 to 1 cup of butter (depending on size of bird) and dried herbs (such as garlic, sage, bay, thyme)

Take chicken out of fridge approximately half an hour before it goes into oven. Wash carefully with running water.

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

Mix dried herbs and butter.

Use a spoon to loosen the skin of the chicken from the flesh and push butter under skin then massage into bird.

Prick orange all over and place into cavity of chicken.  I cut the orange in half as the bird was small today.

Cut onions into quarters and put into roasting tin and drizzle with olive oil.

Place chicken on top of onions and put into oven.

Turn heat down immediately to 400 degrees.

Cook chicken for approximately one hour and twenty minutes.

Baste chicken half way through cooking time and if onions look dry add a splash of water to the tray to stop them burning.

If cooking with roast potatoes add to oven for last 45 minutes.

When chicken is cooked take tray out of oven and transfer chicken to board to rest for approximately fifteen minutes. Cover with tinfoil and tea towel.