This recipe makes a super juicy flavoursome roast chook. It is amazing paired with my favourite asian slaw and the leftovers make excellent lunches, or tacos! The brining is completely optional but I do it whenever planning and time allows as it helps stop the meat from drying out and adds more flavour.
Speaking of brining and time, do what you can. I do it for at least 2 hours and for a max of 24. This is a low salt percentage brine, I keep it low because you’re not trying to cure anything here just inject a little flavour and extra moisture. For more information about brining Heston Blumenthal’s Heston at Home cookbook has some super helpful info. The ingredients of the brine are based around using the leftovers from the garnish and marinade, thus you have less waste and it’s more economical!
Buy a good quality chicken. I can’t stress this enough. I’m all about free range, organic and as local as you can get your hands on and afford. It makes such a difference to the flavour and to the life of the bird you are eating. I love dishes like this that use a whole bird as it’s a much more sustainable and less wasteful way of consuming meat. Plus it’s super easy:)
1 medium – large chicken (1.5 kg usually serves 4ish)
3.2 litres cold water
40g coconut sugar
2 Tbs soy sauce (or Tamari)
3 coriander roots (bang with the side of a knife to release flavour)
1 inch piece of ginger
2 cloves of garlic
tops of 2 chillies
1/2 lime (can be one you have already squeezed the juice from)
3 star anise
1 Tbs yellow mustard seeds
1 inch slice of ginger roughly chopped (can even be the skin of the ginger)
1 Tbs peppercorns
3 Spring onion roots (as I don’t eat the white part (fructose issues!) I always have loads of these)
2 bay leaves
2 Tbs soy sauce/ tamari
1 Tbs maple syrup
1 chilli finely diced
1 tbs finely sliced spring onion
1 Tbs rice wine vinegar
zest of 1/2 lime
1 tsp ginger (finely grated)
1 clove of crushed garlic
1 tsp five spice
1 Tbs oil or melted ghee
a few drops sesame oil
A few tbs of spring onion and coriander leaves
Prepare the marinade: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Reserve the lime, skin of the ginger, roots of the spring onion and top from the chilli for the brine.
Prepare the brine: Place water in a large pot (that you can fit in the fridge if brining for more than 2 hours) remove one cup of water and put in a small pot on the stove. Turn this small pot onto a low-medium heat and add the sugar and salt. Simmer until both have dissolved, allow to cool and add back into the large pot with the rest of the water. Add all other brine ingredients to the water. Stir to combine. Add the chicken (which you have cleaned if your butcher has not done this for you!) Place a lid on and put in a cool spot in your kitchen (or the fridge if it’s a hot day) and allow to sit for 2-24 hours.
Prepare the chicken: Preheat oven to 190 degrees celsius. Remove the chicken from the brine (reserve garlic, ginger and lime from the brine), rinse, pat dry and place on a lined baking tray. I line because i hate scrubbing marinade off my oven trays! Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the lime, garlic, ginger and spring onion roots, you can also add anymore limes you have already used the juice from to fill the cavity – if you’re making the asian slaw to serve with this you’ll have a few! Pour half the marinade over the chicken and rub into the skin.
Cooking the chicken:Place in the middle rack of the oven. After 15 minutes turn the oven temp down to 170 degrees celsius. Every 20 minutes baste with the remaining marinade. If you run out, use the marinade that is simmering in the bottom of the roasting pan. Cooking time depends on the size of your chicken: 20 minutes per 500g + 15 minutes at the end of cooking time always works for me. Rest your chicken for at least 15 minutes (cover in foil to keep warm. Before serving top with spring onion and coriander.