- 1 free-range chicken
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- 1 tbsp olive oil
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- 500g small vine tomato
- 150g pack garlic & herb soft cheese
Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Carefully loosen the skin of the chicken as above, then push the cheese under the skin and massage it down so it completely covers the breasts and is pushed down to the legs.
Sit the chicken in a roasting tin, drizzle with the olive oil, then roast, undisturbed, for 1 hr 20 mins. When the chicken is done, remove from the tin and leave to rest for 20 mins. While the chicken is resting, toss the tomatoes in the roasting tin with the chicken juices, then cook until the chicken is ready to serve. Serve the chicken in pieces with a few baked tomatoes, some of the pan juices, and a green salad.
Other rulesAlways leave your chicken to rest for at least 15 mins before carving. This will give you a juicy chicken that is a lot easier to carve. For a more succulent chicken, take it out of the fridge one hour before cooking to bring it up to room temperature. This rule applies to any meat you are roasting. Don’t worry about turning or basting your chicken as it roasts. Yes, these can give good results, but are fiddly for the beginner, plus every time you open the oven you lose heat.
The golden rule to roast chicken…A 1.5kg chicken will be perfectly roasted after 1 hr 20 mins at 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. It doesn’t matter what you stuff into it, rub or sprinkle over it or put around it, this timing never changes. Remember this and you will always be able to roast a chicken.