What can I say it’s national Roast Day (yes I know, who knew?), and frankly what can beat a properly roasted chicken, the original food for the soul.

Roast Chicken with Avocado

Buy a free range, corn-fed, chill-fresh bird. To test if the bird is cooked, pierce the thickest part of the thigh with a skewer – the juices running out should be golden and clear. Also, you should feel the leg ‘give’ when tugged gently away from the body. To carve a chicken easily and neatly, allow at least 15–20 minutes resting time, preferably longer. This lets the juices, which have welled up to the surface during cooking, to seep back into the flesh to keep it succulent.

Serves 6–8

2.5 kg chicken

1 carrot

1 onion

1 stick celery

1 tablespoon standard flour

1 soft avocado

4 tablespoons Lemon Pepper Grove Avocado oil

1 clove of garlic, crushed

2 tablespoons chopped Parsley

6 rashers fat streaky bacon

500ml chicken stock

salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 tablespoons verjuice or white wine

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
  2. Prepare a ‘mire poix’ of vegetables and place in bottom of roasting tin. Sprinkle over flour.
  3. Crush the soft Avocado with 2 tablespoons of the Lemon Pepper Avocado oil and blend to the consistency of soft butter; mix in the crushed Garlic and Parsley. Loosen the skin by gently sliding your finger between skin and flesh. Smear the Avocado “butter” generously under the skin, remembering the points where the thighs join the body. Brush remaining Avocado oil over the bird and season with salt and pepper, then place the bacon strips in a row, slightly overlapping each other, all along the breast.
  4. Lay the chicken on its back in a roasting tin on a high shelf in the oven. Cook for 20 minutes per 450g and sometimes 20 minutes over. (This has to be flexible because of the size of the bird and the type of oven.)
  5. After 1 hour, set aside the crispy bacon for serving later. When chicken is cooked, check the core temperature of the bird has reached 72˚C and rest, covered loosely with foil, for at least 10–15 minutes before carving.
  6. Meanwhile, add verjuice or white wine to cooked ‘mire poix’ and deglaze the roasting tin, stirring with a wooden spoon, once reduced a little add the chicken stock and bring to the simmer. Strain through a sieve and serve with chicken and crispy bacon.

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