An easy recipe that will always be successful.
The key to it is the fresh whole chicken. Get a free range one, get it with the skin, get it organic if you like - increase the cooking time for the organic one.
A Sunday roast prepared at the very last minute, improvised with "something in the fridge" - a wheel of soft cheese, Boursin. This cheese is made up with ingredients that flavour the meal - garlic, herbs and cream, salt, pepper and soft cheese. What more can one wish for on a simple roast chicken? Subtle enough to serve it with sides, yet tasty enough to eat by itself.
I served this delicious chicken with a mushroom gravy, tartiflette, some roasted caulilini and a salad. It worked well, as I placed the chicken in the preheated oven, and then calculated the timing to place the potatoes and caulilini at the right times.
Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F
1.5 kg/3.3 lb free range chicken - whole with skin on
1 wheel of 150 gm/5.29 oz Boursin garlic and herbs soft French gournay cheese
Pat dry the whole chicken. Place the chicken on a baking sheet lined with parchment.
Gently loosen the skin all over as best as you can, being careful not to tear it apart. Starting with the breast side, generously apply the cheese under the skin , and place the remaining in the cavity of the chicken. Place the chicken breast side down.
Cook the chicken for 1 hour 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, loosely cover this with some foil and allow it to rest for 10 minutes. Serve.
The free range chicken should be cooked for approximately 20 minutes per lb. But it is important to note that organic chickens need more time to cook.
To achieve the right balance, increase the ratio of cheese to match the larger bird.
Photo courtesy Niloufer Mavalvala