I haven’t cooked a whole chicken for ages, so when they had big, fat fresh ones in the butchers window I just had to get one. Now, I’ll have to admit I’m not a huge fan of touching raw chicken meat, so the thought of stuffing it with something was not pleasant, so it had to be easy and the least hands on it could be!!
What You Need:
- 1 large chicken
- 1 lime
- 1 large fennel bulb
- 2 carrots
- 2 sticks celery
- 2 tablespoons butter (optional)
What You Need To Do:
As I said earlier, I’m not too keen on the feel of raw chicken so I rinsed the chicken under cold running water and pat it thoroughly dry with some paper towel. Roughly chop the carrot and celery into large chunks, you dont even have to peel the carrots if they are clean and fresh. Place them into a tray lined with baking paper and sit the chicken on top of the veges.
Cut the fennel bulb into chunks and slice the lime into four thick slices. Place the fennel and 2 of the lime slices into the cavity of the chicken. You can tuck the other 2 slices in behind the wings just to flavour the skin a bit if you like.
Now the butter! It is optional if you are trying to be more healthy than me, but I had seen it being done to an enormous turkey on Martha Stewart, so I thought I would give it a go. You have to gently separate the skin on the top from the meat underneath. To do this, you run your fingers between the two layers, starting at the cavity end, and gently push them apart. You move your hand down toward the breast and the skin should separate from the meat. It is into this gap you put the butter. So, when you are done you will have layer of butter between the meat and the skin.
Season with salt and pepper, and a little squeeze of the lime, and bake for about 45 minutes, depending on the size of the chook you have. The juices should run clear when it is done.
Now I wasn’t too pleased about having to do this but I ended up with a very moist, golden skinned chicken that didn’t require constant basting. So maybe I have conquered a little fear of mine!!
The veges underneath the chicken can be used to flavour some gravy or eaten with the meal, whatever you like!!