Giorgio’s roast chicken

Giorgio’s roast chicken


At home we like to roast chicken very simply. The chicken is always organic because it is the only way to be sure that the birds have had a decent life.

Otherwise, in intensive farming systems, you can’t verify how they are treated: chickens don’t write anonymous letters! When you have the time, the supreme way of roasting a good chicken is to brine it first, which makes a dramatic difference, keeping the meat really moist and juicy. I like to roast some potatoes and vegetables around the chicken as it cooks. For six people I would mix 3 courgettes, 3 carrots and 3 stalks of celery (all cut into chunks) in a bowl with 4 potatoes (quartered), around 4 sprigs of rosemary and 10 cloves of garlic. I would toss them all with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, season them and then put them into the roasting pan around the chicken. Halfway through cooking I add a wine glass (70mls) of water.

Serves 6

chickens 2 medium (about 1.5kg),

free-range or preferably organic

For the brine:

sea salt 120g

fresh rosemary 5 sprigs

bay leaves 4

peppercorns 1 tablespoon

juniper berries 1 teaspoon

garlic 4 cloves

lemon peel of 1

1 Put all the brine ingredients into a pan with 3 litres of water and bring to the boil until the salt has dissolved, then take off the heat and leave to infuse as the brine cools down. 2 Put the chickens into a container just big enough to hold them, pour the brine over and leave in the fridge for at least 6 hours to tenderise and flavour the flesh.

3 Preheat the oven to 180ÆC/gas 4. 4 Remove the chickens from the brine, put into a roasting pan and roast for about 45 minutes, or until the juices run clear if you pierce the thighs with the tip of a sharp knife