Monday, 9 December 2013

Crispy Roast Chicken With Herb Butter, Cauliflower Mash and Vegetables

I'm pretty sure there must be a list out there somewhere that has the 'top 5 food cooking smells' on it, and somewhere on that list would have to be Roast Chicken…it's definitely up there with fried garlic and onions, hot baked bread, and bacon. 

This roast chicken was incredibly easy, and served with cauliflower mash, roast potatoes and carrots, and steamed broccoli, it was a delicious, nutritious meal that went down well with both hubby and the kids. Gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, soy-free and with the option of dairy-free, this meal is a great midweek staple that will impress but truly takes very little work at all! Because I used a butterflied chicken, the chicken was cooked in about 35-40 minutes so it can easily be whipped up after a long day which there seem to be a lot of at this time of year!

Crispy Roast Chicken with Herb Butter, Cauliflower Mash and Vegetables


1 whole chicken (either buy it butterflied, or butterfly it yourself by cutting through the back bone with a sharp pair of kitchen scissors, and then flattening out. You could also cook it whole, but the cooking time will be longer).
1/4 cup butter or coconut oil (softened)
1/4 cup fresh or dried mixed herbs of your choice (I used fresh rosemary, fresh thyme and dried oregano)
1 clove garlic, peeled and grated
juice of half a lemon
salt and pepper to taste

2 cups cauliflower, cut into florets
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp butter, coconut oil or olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder (or 1 clove garlic, grated)
1/8 cup coconut milk or 1/4 cup coconut milk powder
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 180C.
2. In a small bowl, combine the butter, herbs, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. 
3. Now for the messy part - using your fingers, gently separate the skin of the chicken from the flesh. You will create a pocket between the skin and flesh. Grab a lump of the butter and stuff it in the pocket. Massage the skin in order to spread the chicken around evenly under the skin. You will find that it will be on your fingers and some will ooze out, but this is a good thing - some of the butter mix on the outside will help to crisp up the skin. Repeat this process with both breast and both thighs - basically anywhere where there is thick flesh and skin that can be peeled off. 
4. Place the chicken in a roasting dish and cook for about 35-40 minutes until the skin is golden and crispy, and the juices run clear (pierce the chicken with a knife in the thickest part and allow some juice to escape. It should be clear with no pink to it).
5. Chop the chicken into quarters or rough chunks, depending on how many people you are serving.
6. Serve with Cauliflower Mash (see recipe), roast potatoes (or kumara), roast carrots and steamed greens

7. To make cauliflower mash, bring a pot of water to the boil over medium high heat. Once boiling, add cauliflower and cook until tender. Strain water, then add mustard, butter or oil, garlic and coconut milk. Mash well, or puree with a stick blender (I used this to make a really nice smooth mash, but you could also use a regular masher if you want a slightly more chunky mash). Season to taste