Lemon and Thyme Roast Chicken on RSG

Lemon and thyme were by far the dominate flavors when I asked readers what their secrets are to the perfect roast chicken. Lemon juice in various forms……drizzled, stuffed up the bum of the poor chicken or simple added to the stock. With thyme there was a slight dispute, some prefer the herb and others swear by “time” as in “take your time with a roast chicken. Thank you all for all the emails and messages, we will continue this discussion on RSG tomorrow morning, just after 9…….
So you want to know my secret…… once again, my ancestors beat me to it. Yes indeed, my mom and grandma had method to their madness and I figured it out this week while making roast chicken for my family. You see, for as long as I can remember, my mother always rinsed her meat and chicken in a bowl of salted water. I was always told that it was to wash off all possible germs and impurities and maybe in their minds that was the only reason, but they also always produced the most incredible crispy and sticky chicken and braised meat. How? Why? I have tried so many methods, but nothing was quite the same……….until now…
Brining of meat before roasting has become quite a trend lately and with my mother’s age-old method and this new technique, things were beginning to make a whole lot of sense to me…..brining before grilling…..that’s the secret to moist, succulent meat and crispy sticky skin…. I will try and make it as simple as possible.

Lemon and Thyme Roast chicken 
enough for two chickens


For the brine

2 liters water
60 ml salt
a few sprigs of thyme

Pour the water and all other ingredients in a stainless steel or glass bowl and leave the chickens to brine for at least 1 hour, but not more than 4 hours. Remove chickens from the brine, rinse under clean water and pat dry with kitchen toweling.

For the herb butter

125gr butter – room temperature
1 tbsp fresh thyme – use only the leaves, remove it from the woody stems
zest of l lemon – keep lemon and place one half in each chicken’s cavity.
1 clove garlic – crushed
salt and pepper

Mix all the ingredients and stuff  underneath the chicken’s skin, especially over the dry breast and leg areas.

Preheat oven to 170 C. Place the chickens on a roasting rack inside a roasting tray and roast chickens  for about  90 minutes or until the leg feels lose and comes away from the body of the chicken when you pull it. For the last 5-10 minutes of cooking time, sprinkle a little Maldon salt over the chickens and roast again. Some people adds stock to their roasting try, I don’t and the meat is fall-off-the-bone-tender… In fact there is enough roasting liquid left in the pan to use as base for the gravy…

Tune in to RSG tomorrow (100-104FM) morning (Thursday)just after 9 when I share a different easy recipe from My Easy Cooking. You can also listen online here!

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