If you get a hold of a whole chicken for Christmas, try roasting it. It's very easy - you just sprinkle salt and pepper and leave it up to the oven, but it looks great. The tenderness of a whole roasted chicken meat will amaze you.
Garlic, thyme, rosemary, parsley, sage, oregano etc.
1 to 2 stalks
Wash the chicken carefully inside and out, and pat dry. I used a fairly small 1 kg bird this time.
Mix salt, pepper and herbs of your choice together. I used a blend of garlic, rosemary, oregano and parsley.
Rub the seasonings into the outside and inside of the bird well.
Take care of the neck. Bend it forward so that it covers the neck cavity.
Pull the skin on the top and bottom of the neck, and fold it over the neck as if to hide it. Secure with a toothpick.
Close the other end. If you are adding stuffing to the chicken, do so now. I stuffed flavored boiled potatoes.
Pul the skin on either side of the opening, and secure with toothpicks as shown in the photo.
Secure the wings to the body with toothpicks.
Line a baking sheet or tray with aluminium foil, and scatter chopped celery.
Place the chicken on top, spread oil and sprinkle flour. Cover the chicken completely with aluminium foil.
Roast the chicken in a preheated 200°C oven for one hour. Raise the temperature to 240°C, take off the foil and roast for another 30 minutes.
Take out the toothpicks and decorate the legs with ribbon. Arrange vegetables around the chicken and it's done.
Story Behind this Recipe
This is our standard Christmas dish. The chicken is steam-roasted first, then browned in a very hot oven. The meat comes out very tender, plump and juicy. It's easy to carve the chicken using kitchen shears.
The whole chicken I buy comes with the legs tied together. If your chicken doesn't come like that, tie the legs together with kitchen twine. You don't have to stuff the inside cavity of the chicken. If you do stuff it, try chopped vegetables, rice pilaf or whatever you like. The roasting time depends on the size of the bird. The chicken is done if you poke the thickest part with a skewer and the juices run clear.