I always encourage people to teach their kids to cook, as is essential life skill and frankly am terrified that one day I may depend on them to feed me when I am old and infirm and if they cant cook I'll die of malnutrition or worse food poisoning! But is not only kids who need to learn.
Anne and Bill have been married 60 years. They have strict division of labour, common to their generation. Anne cooks and runs house, Bill looks after finances and plays golf.
They raised 4 boys, and enjoy a quiet and comfortable retirement. That was until a fortnight ago. Anne fell while watering garden, savagely breaking several of her 84yr old bones, 4 surgeries later she was finally on the road to recovery and Bill was tired of toast. Survival instinct kicked in and he found himself in the unfamiliar territory called kitchen. Never having attempted to cook anything other than eggs or toast he decided to roast a chicken.
With great pride he regaled Anne during visiting hours of his achievement. He'd successfully cooked a chook. Anne was amazed, how did he do it ?
Apparently there were instructions printed on the pack and Bill had simply followed them. In all the years she's cooked for him she'd never needed to look and he'd never needed to cook.
Don't you wish you'd married Anne? I'd even wear the ugly golf trousers if it meant coming home to a cooked meal everyday - sigh. anyway heres how I cook a chook
To Roast a Chicken
A roast chicken is one of the simplest and most satisfying dishes, the house will smell wonderful while it cooks, and once you’ve mastered the basic technique you can try all sorts of variations.
Pre heat the oven to 180º
Allow 20 minutes per 450g plus an extra 20 minutes at the end.
Make sure the chicken is fully defrosted, pat it dry with a piece of kitchen paper and place it in a roasting pan. Sprinkle the bird with a little salt and pepper and put it into the pre-heated oven.
During the cooking time baste the chicken with the juices in the pan, use a large spoon and carefully spoon the hot pan juices over the whole chicken, this helps it to brown evenly and keep it moist.
When the cooking time is completed pierce the plumpest part of the chickens thigh with a sharp knife and press the flesh firmly, have a look at any juice that comes out, it should be clear. If there is any pink juice at all cook the chicken for another 20 minutes then check it again. If you have allowed 20 minutes per 450 g plus another 20 it should be fine.
Remove the chicken from the oven; cover with foil to keep it warm then let it rest for 10 minutes before you cut it up. This will allow the meat to relax and will be more moist and tender to eat.
Roast chicken is delicious hot or cold, serve with gravy or chutney, hot roast vegetables, mashed spuds or salad.
Hints and tips: Rubbing the skin with butter before it cooks will make it extra golden and crispy but does add extra unnecessary fat.
Adding lemon or orange segments to the cavity inside the bird will help keep a big bird moist as it cooks, herbs and garlic will infuse flavour and bacon strips placed over the breast of the bird will keep it moist and flavoursome.
Marinades and barbecue style sauces will all add variety to a roasted bird as will dry spice rubs or some liquid in the pan while the bird cooks, you could use stock, wine, or a combination.