Boiboi: Mummy, want to eat.
Me: You want to eat chicken?
Boiboi: Yeah (his current fave word when we asked him questions)
Me: Okay, Mummy cook you some chicken.
Boiboi: Mummy, I want CRUNCHY one.
Goshhhh I went laughing out loud until hubby came out looking groggy and asked me what happened. I related to him and his eyes went wide and he was certainly wide awake by then. I did not realised how much my boiboi had grown until he knows how to demand what kinda style of chicken he want to eat!!! BTW, he's 3 1/2 years old now.
Hubby being the "yar sei hau low dao" (loving daddy with weak heart!!!) suggested that we take him to KFC that day but I don't really fancy bringing my kid to fastfood restaurants. In fact all these while, I think we have brought boiboi to McDonald's or KFC for less than 10 times in his whole entire life!!!
So my mind went racing... I don't really like to eat deep fried stuff and I hate to fry stuff too. Too much cleaning up to do hahahaha... I took out Jamie Oliver's Happy Days with the Naked Chef and start flipping thru the pages. Hmmm... roasted chicken would perhaps been the next best bet. I've never worked on one whole chicken in my whole entire life... yeah hard to believe. I usually buy the necessary parts or I'll just ask my friendly chicken seller to chop the whole chicken up for me. See how much a "yar sei hau" Mummy can sacrifice!
That got me trooping off to the market to get the chicken and some vegetables that I could find closest to the recipe. I know I can never cook the whole dang thing following 100% to Jamie Oliver's recipe due to limitation of ingredients in the "ulu" (suburb) place that I'm staying. Let's just put it that I've merely following the steps in the recipe, hence in a way it became MY recipe inspired by Jamie's
After cleaning the chicken... I had a tough time getting rid of the stuff in the cavity but slowy and steadily I managed to get it done... YAY!!!! After trimming off the fats and such, the chicken is ready. I rubbed some ginger juice, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, black pepper and dried basil (the only dried herb left in my pantry!!!) all over it. Next I stuffed loads of garlics, ginger (after extracted the juice) and some lemon wedges into the cavity. I left in the fridge for a few hours.
I've chopped carrots, red and yellow bell peppers (capsicum), potatoes, red onions and Japanese cucumber into large chunks. Place them inside a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkled some sea salt and black pepper before mixing them up thoroughly. Placed the chicken on top (breast side up) of the vegetables and drizzled more olive oil.
Ahem... this was the ensemble all ready to be placed into the oven. Please excuse the horrible look of it. This Babe gingerly asked the chicken seller to removed the Bishop Nose cos I'm so used to doing that all the time kekeke... Silly me, I should have left it as it is, now that left an ugly spot on the chicken rear! Anyway, I stuffed the tray into the oven. I've used fan asissted top and bottom heating element at about 180 degree Celcius. I've expected the chicken to be cooked in an hour but it was cooked under 40 minutes. Half way thru I dumped in some cherry tomatoes. To check for doneness other than the browned skin, is to poke a skewer on the meatiest part of the chicken. It's done when clear juice oozes out.
Now, to prepare the sauce, I removed some of the vegetables from the tray and placed them in a saucepan together with all the liquid from the tray. Using my handheld blender, I liquidised the chucky vegetables into a thick liquid (Jamie uses a blender though). Since it was pretty thick, I thin a little with some water. Added some balsamic vinegar, sugar to balance the sourness and some salt to taste and bring it to a boil.
Nice looking eh but it was not browned thoroughly and don't looked very crispy. Hubby commented on that and I only found out later from other recipe books that I need to turn the chicken over half way but I guessed Jamie's style does not call for that. I've made some buttered rice to go with the roast chicken and they're a winner! This was how I plated them.
That evening, my boiboi devoured the whole chicken thigh by using a fork and a knife for the first time without using his fingers! Amazingly he could cleaned out the tender chicken rather well. We kept on coaxing him to use his fingers but he refused. It's very satisfy to see him cleaning his plate whilst enjoying the chicken he requested that very morning.
Now the post-mortem... I must not remove the Bishop Nose (must repeat that on my head for a hundred times!!!!). I ought to turn over the chicken half way to brown the chicken all over and leave it in the oven slightly longer to have crispier skin. Hubby's commented that there is not enough of herb taste, not crispy enough and the sauce was slightly too sour for his liking (but I liked it though).
Overall, I had a wonderful experience cleaning and roasting my first WHOLE chicken but the best part had to be the way boiboi savouring and enjoy every bit of the chicken. With the initial fear of roasting whole chicken gone, I think there will be more roast chicken recipes coming the way... *wink*
Updated on 17 Jan 2006 to correct recipe name.