Well it’s time to take this weekend staple to the next level by serving up Heston Blumenthal’s roast chicken. There are some key points of difference that makes this more than your ordinary bird. To start with he brines his chook in salty water for at least twelve hours. Next comes the stock. He uses brown stock, made from leftovers from your last roast (carcass and root veg). This stock can be the perfect addition to a classic chicken noodle soup. You might also season your chook with lemon, herbs and butter, but Heston uses a very low oven (90 degrees) and cooks it for three to four hours, basting the meat in its pan juices every hour. His roast potatoes are also an intensive undertaking, requiring extensive rinsing, boiling and baking in hot oil. And here’s a neat trick for getting that perfect caramelised crust on your roast vegetables: he sprinkles them with skim milk powder for the last ten minutes in the oven. Or you can try a version with apple stuffing.
You can also raid the liquor cabinet in pursuit of flavour and try a bourbon chicken with cabbage and apple slaw. The meat is spiced and then glazed with bourbon, ginger, chilli, garlic, vinegar and ginger beer. Or take it south of the border with a tequila and lime chicken served with baked potatoes.
If top of your priority list is mastering the crunch factor of fried chicken then this South East fried chicken recipe is for you. There are three layers of flavour at work; marinade, seasoned flour and seasoned batter. And once you have those golden crunchy pieces out of the hot oil there’s a sweet chilli dipping sauce to top it off. If you used to travel to eat, make your dining room a destination by serving Hong Kong crispy skinned chicken. This simple recipe is all about the smart hacks, like using the hot poaching liquid from the chicken to blanch the greens while you fry the meat to a golden crisp.
Of course, if you want to really whittle down a chicken to its most indulgent part, there’s always potato skins topped with fried chicken skin, which involves freezing, food processing, boiling and then frying to get that intense roasted flavour.
At the other end of the colour spectrum it’s time to stop using the (admittedly convenient) shortcut of ready made dumpling wrappers and try making your own crystal dough for these chicken and ginger dumplings. They’re so beautiful it’s a shame to eat them, but that won’t stop you. But if you need to just keep things a bit healthy, look no further than this perfect healthy grilled chicken.