By Arré Bench Nov. 23, 2017
Instead of settling for frozen poultry from a faraway land, why not indulge in a succulent local chicken instead?
It’s Thanksgiving today, and if you’re one of those who want to co-opt this cultural celebration of Americanness, don’t go out looking for a turkey. If you do, chances are that you’ll receive the frozen carcass of a bird that was slaughtered a thousand miles away, a couple of months ago, and shipped off to exotic lands, pumped up with roids. To say mass market poultry is one hundred percent steroid-free is to believe Sant Dr Baba Gurmeet Singh Ram Rahim Ji Insan to be celibate. There’s enough growth hormones in these birds to give a baby six pack abs before it’s even learnt to say, “Bro, check out these abs”.
Considering the above, you’d be better served going to your local murgi-wala or “fresh chicken shop” and buying a recently deceased, fresh chicken to roast to perfection and celebrate Thanksgiving.
But only if you must.
Here’s what you need:
– One whole chicken, below 2 kgs, and preferably with the skin on
– One head of garlic
– Two limes
– A handful of coriander
– A handful of dill
– A handful of mint
– 50 grams of cubed butter
– A generous pinch of salt
Here’s What to Do With It:
– Wash and dry the chicken. Sprinkle it liberally with salt, and leave it uncovered in the fridge overnight over a wire rack or a strainer set over a plate to catch the liquid. This will dry out the skin and make it extra crispy and crackly. Skip this step if you’re using skinless chicken.
– Pat down the chicken and gradually work your fingers under the skin on the breasts and thighs. Now put cubes of butter under the skin; this will keep the bird moist as it roasts. If using skinless chicken, melt this butter and use it to baste the chicken while it roasts.
– Chop up a fourth of the herbs, mix them with a tablespoon of oil and the juice of half a lime. Add in some crushed pepper and spoon this mixture over the chicken.
– Now, stuff the chicken’s body cavity with the rest of the herbs and chopped up limes.
– Roast the chicken on a wire rack in a pre-heated oven at 230oC for 15 minutes, then at 175oC for another 30 minutes per kilo of chicken, till the skin is golden and crispy.
– Serve hot, with a side of vegetables of your choice and the pan drippings. Don’t forget to give thanks that you don’t live in Trump’s America!