Family “Roast Chicken” Dinner
In a Foodie Anonymous (FA) meeting, “Hi I am Kawiria and I absolutely love chicken.” I am one of those people whose day is easily made with a few pieces of chicken. Of all the different types of edible meats, for me, chicken always wins. Of late though, pork has been giving it a run.
You can have chicken prepared in different ways; boil, fry (shallow or deep), roast. It’s all dependent on what you have on your table. There are two types of chicken; kienyenji and broiler. The kienyenji (locally bred chicken) is quite tough, so in most cases its best boiled first (for a lengthy period, say 1hr) to make it tender and then you can fry it or roast to add flavors and make it tasty. The broiler on the other hand, is quite fatty and tender, so it’s best roasted. Roasting burns the fat and enables the flavors to be absorbed into the chicken.
My chicken story is no joke. Over time, my parents observed the same and I came to realize that every time I visit, they make sure they have some Chicken to serve. They spoil me. Armed with that crucial piece of information, the mister #ChefDion decided to impress them with his culinary skills on our visit upcountry (Meru) during the long Jamuhuri weekend. And if you wondered how I fell head over heels for him, together with the larger family – here’s why.
- Whole Chicken
- Olive Oil
- Crushed Black Pepper
- Rosemary (Fresh Leaves)
- Tomato Ketchup
All the spices can be found on the spice section in the super market. Feel free to try roasting it your own way and adding more ingredients, for instance if you want to stuff it. Remember, you can always work with what you have available and forfeit or supplement what you don’t have. For instance, this day we didn’t have foil, kitchen brush or gloves. So, we didn’t use foil (we placed the chicken directly on the tray). We used a new tooth-brush and a kitchen towel – in place of the kitchen brush and gloves.
- Preheat the oven to 200oC.
- Place the chicken on the board and have the back on the board and the front facing you.
- Slit the chicken in the middle so that you’re able to see the inner parts. Also slightly slit the wings and the thighs.
- Place a roll of foil on the roasting try.
- Pour some olive oil on the foil and spread it with a brush.
- Place the chicken on the roasting tray and apply some olive oil all over it – and on all the cracks and crevices.
- Rub the salt, black paper, cayenne and rosemary leaves on the chicken.
- Place the roasting tray in the preheated oven. Set the timer for 40mins and for the grill to heat from the top only.
- After the 40mins have lapsed, turn the chicken and let it grill for 30mins and make sure that it’s well greased with olive oil.
- Pour the juice from the chicken into a bowl – this will be used to prepare the sauce that’ll be used to glaze the chicken.
- For the sauce, take the bowl with the chicken soup, add some tomato ketchup, paprika, thyme, honey and whip it up.
- Once the 40mins are up, remove the chicken from the oven. Glaze the chicken with the sauce. Tuck some fresh rosemary stalks inside the chicken to give it the flavor.
- Place it in the oven and set the timer for 10mins. Do the same for the other side.
- Once the chicken is ready, place it on the board, joint it and place the pieces of chicken in a serving dish or tray.
- Serve hot, with a starch and veggies.
We accompanied the roast chicken with ugali and steamed cabbage. I was too eager to eat that I forgot to take a picture of the serving. The aroma and the way it looked sitting on the dish was calling out. Best believe, it was extremely delicious. Dad, being a man of few praise words said, “It’s very O.K, very O.K” *many times, as he dug right in for the second helping. Mum, baby sister and I, run out of words. And that’s how.
*Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*