Christmas celebrations in my family are always surrounded by special cheer…and rightly so, since it’s also my Dad’s birthday on December 25th. In fact, when I was a child, I have been known to tell my teachers that Santa’s birthday and my Daddy’s birthday fall on the same day…and what that usually meant was that I’d distribute sweets around school before our Christmas vacations were declared. 😛 Now, I just make cake….(and cook) 😀
Well, truth be told, I didn’t bake until a year back! The first cake I made was in the pressure cooker, about 5 years back when we moved to Kolkata.. and that was on Christmas as well 🙂 Came a long way since, I guess.. So, of course, we had cake, GINGERBREAD CAKE!!! With a crunchyyyyy Caramel Buttercream Frosting and a Gingery Caramel Whipped Filling and Topping…AND some decorative details with coloured cream 😀 Royal, decadent, rich, and seriously addictive!!! Nothing but the BEST for my Dad on his 60th birthday 😀 Right? I have to say, this is one of my favourite cakes so far…and for someone who’s a chocolate addict, that’s saying a lot. I have GOT TO make this cake again, though I’ll probably stick to a lighter frosting, perhaps just a glaze…or enjoy it plain 🙂
And thus, with the cake, we had a royal meal too! A meal that’s Christmassy and fit for a birthday treat.. ROAST CHICKEN of course, with sides!!!
I must apologize about the pictures, I was running around here and there, whilst Birthday boy was sniffing around hopefully and the chicken was getting cold! So no opportunity to set, click, pose, click… anyyyyywho, I managed a few clicks, and then, we DUG IN….
Since we’d be eating a whole roast chicken, or at least parts of it…I kept the sides simple. Now beans are some of my favourite veggies, so a simple dish of Buttered Beans, and some rice tossed in garlic butter & fresh thyme did the trick.
This is the first time I roasted a full bird, and my limited experience could have led to disaster….but thankfully, it didn’t. I was advised to try a bird with skin and to bake part of the way covered with a foil, etc…which I’d like to try out. So if you have a foolproof Roast Chicken recipe, please, by all means, follow it.. 🙂 Luckily, the chicken roast was moist and tender, but whether it was overcooked or not, I leave it up to you to judge 🙂 We don’t enjoy ‘rare’ meat anyway 😛
CHRISTMAS CHICKEN ROAST
- Chicken – 1 whole, about 1 & 1/2 kgs, dressed and cleaned
- Butter – 100 gms
- Olive oil – 1/4 cup
- Crushed garlic – 1 whole, cloves removed, coarsely crushed
- Ginger – 1 inch piece, crushed/grated
- Dried thyme – 2 tsp
- Salt – to taste
- Cracked black pepper – 1 tsp
- Oregano seasoning – 1 tbsp
- Baby potatoes – 10 to 12, cleaned, with skin
- Carrots – 2 or 3 medium, chopped into roundels
- Preheat oven to 160 C.
- Melt the butter thoroughly and mix the oil in. Reserve 1/4 cup of this melted mixture.
- To the rest of the melted butter-oil mixture, add the crushed ginger & garlic…dried thyme, oregano and crushed pepper.
- Mix well.
- Now toss the carrots and potatoes in 1 tsp oil and some salt.
- Place the chicken, bottom side up, in a plate, and with a brush, apply the melted butter-herb mixture thoroughly.
- Transfer it on to a baking tray/dish, right-side up.
- Lay the tossed potatoes and carrots around the chicken.
- Now apply the herb butter mixture all over the top and sides of the chicken, and either with your hands or with a pastry brush, push some of it inside the chicken cavity as well.
- Sprinkle salt generously.
- Bake the chicken at 160 C for about 40 mins.
- After the first 40 mins, baste the chicken with some of the reserved butter-oil after the first 30 mins, and continue to bake.
- Increase temp to 190 C and bake for another 40 mins, basting the chicken after the time is up.
- Now check the chicken with a knife, to see how much more it needs to be cooked.
- Mine was about 80% at this point, so I let it bake for another 30 mins at 200 C, and grilled it for 10 mins to give it a nice golden crunch on top.
- Let the chicken rest for 10 mins before carving.
- I served it with some buttered green beans and plain rice tossed in some garlic butter with a dash of thyme.
- There was a nice ‘gravy’ at the bottom of the chicken in the baking dish, which we used as a sauce to mop up the rice.
- You can reserve this ‘juice’ and thicken it with some flour/cornflour and add flavouring to serve as a thick sauce.
- I don’t have a meat thermometer, so I checked my chicken using a knife and cut off a small piece from under the breast to see if it was under or over-cooked.
- The chicken was nice and moist and tender, so I am guessing it wasn’t overcooked..but my way isn’t foolproof, so if you have a meat thermometer, please use it 🙂