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Cooking a roast chicken – without fear!

Cooking a whole roast chicken seems to strike fear in the hearts of many;

What if I dry it out? Or even worse, I undercook it?

milking yard farm chicken
Milking Yard Farm Chicken Image by James Broadway

We've been told that pink meat means it's undercooked and that it will potentially poison us with salmonella. While that’s not true, it’s no surprise that cooks can feel anxious about cooking a whole chook for the family.

So we thought we’d share a few tips and tricks which might put you at ease.

  • Fully preheat your oven before putting in the bird.

  • We recommend roasting at 160 degrees - for about 1.5 to 2 hours - depending on the size of the bird. Bigger birds will take longer. (If you're unsure of the roasting times for your Milking Yard Farm bird, please send us a message).

  • Invest in a digital thermometer – rather than analogue.

  • Aim for an internal temperature of 70 degrees Celsius – not 65 or 75! Check by inserting the digital thermometer lengthways down through thickest part of the bird - the breast. Also check the thickest part of the thigh, as it’s typically cooler.

  • When it’s close to time, check the breast and thigh areas again. Repeat every 5 minutes, until it reaches 70 degrees. Remove from the oven and let it rest. Please note that the temperature will continue to increase by up to 5 degrees after you take it out of the oven.

  • Brush the chicken with melted butter and return to the oven. Then, crisp the skin by increasing the temperature of the oven to 220 degrees. When golden brown, remove from the oven and rest. This allows the meat to reabsorb the moisture, making it juicy and tender. Wrap foil over the top of the baking dish and let sit for around 5-10 minutes. Remove foil, plate up and serve.

  • For optimum flavour and juiciness the chicken should be just past being pink and juices will run clear.

  • For more details on this or other recipes please visit our recipe section on our website.

Merry Christmas!

PS, this wonderful photo is courtesy of James Broadway @vini_bici_foto


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