This Preserved Lemon, Cumin, Coriander and Thyme Roast Chicken is the result of some experimentation. If you know me then you may know that I am a little obsessed with roast chicken and as such roast chicken is the one recipe that I have researched to death and tried to make in a gazillion different ways.
Preserved Lemon, Cumin and Thyme Roast Chicken
This recipe right here is for my idea of the perfect roast chicken. I feel like the pics don't do it justice but hey ho. Next week I will be trying a new recipe from New York Times. It involves a hair dryer..yes really.
The great thing about roast chicken is that it needs nothing more then salt, pepper and olive oil to make it taste amazing. Both Nigel Slater and Diana Henry have featured recipes with just those ingredients and as sumptuous and irresistible as their recipes are, I really really love adding garlic, cumin, coriander (sometimes), thyme, and preserved lemons to my recipe. If I don't have time to mess about, I just add Garlic to the pan.
My roast chicken making journey only started recently. By recent I mean about 2 - 3 years ago. I had never made a roast chicken before then. I had made plenty of roast shoulders and legs of lambs but roast chicken was something I picked up from the local takeaway. Had I known that roast chicken didn't have to taste/feel..like that, I would have tried sooner.
Crispy Skin, Dry Meat
The thing is, for some reason I actually loved that crispy chicken with the really dry meat underneath. I actually thought it was a treat. I mean..I don't know why either. Now that I've tried proper roast chicken, I don't think I could put myself through the agony again.
I think the final straw was on one blusteringly cold and windy night (adds to the drama) when I wanted to take dinner round to my in laws. I picked some rotisserie chicken up from a local place and made chips to go with it. As we sat down at the dinner table, the dryness of the chicken not only became apparent but i became hyper aware of it. Mainly because I was aware that I was inflicting this pain on others too. I got up from the table with a dry mouth, vowing that I would never buy roast chicken again.
Diverting slightly..I have a thing for recipe books. I can easily spend a few hours looking through them. My collection always feels like it may be too big but hey some people spend on clothes and shoes. I spend on ingredients and books. Although having heard a recent podcast, my collection seems pretty humble in comparison to the 3000 that the lady being interviewed had amassed. I learn a lot from my books and some are more useful then others.
So I have been though all my recipe books and tried all the roast chicken recipes in them. Every one of the roast chicken recipes had a little bit at the top talking about why this particular recipe is the perfect recipe for roast chicken..and I believed all of them and so I tried all of them.
From Nigel to Jamie to Marcus to Gordon to Nigella, to Diana Henry..Oh and Laurie Colwyn. From Samin to Felicity Clarke to that bloke from Maxs Sandwich Shop. I have tried them all (as have my family) and this is my favourite technique of them all.
So here it is. My perfect roast chicken recipe with the most moist and flavourful meat.
How to make Preserved Lemon, Cumin and Thyme Roast Chicken
Heat oven to Gas Mark 7/220 C.
Season the Chicken and allow to sit for 30 mins.
Add Salt to Buttermilk and pour into a resealable bag. Add the Chicken and place in the fridge for 24 hours.
Blend all the ingredients for the marinade.
Massage under and on top of the skin of the Chicken.
Tie the legs together.
Place breast side down and point legs of the Chicken towards the back of the oven in a casserole dish.
Cook for 30 minutes, basting every 15 minutes.
Turn the heat up to GM 9/250 C.
Cook a further 15 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for 10 minutes.
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*if you love this recipe, please rate/comment or tag us on social media. – safira x
Preserved Lemon, Cumin and Thyme Roast Chicken
- 1.5 kg Chicken Skin On, Cleaned and Giblets removed
- 500 ml Buttermilk
- Olive Oil
- 1 large Preserved Lemon Pips removed and chopped fine
- 1 large Lemon Zest Of
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 1 tsp Corinader Seeds Lightly crushed in a pestle and motor (Optional)
- 4 sprigs Thyme Leaves removed
- 5 cloves Garlic Peeled
- 75 g Butter
- Salt and Pepper
- Preheat oven to 220 C/Gas Mark 7.
- Season the chicken generously and allow to sit for 30 minutes.
- Add 1 tbsp Sea Salt to the Buttermilk and pour into a resealable bag. Add the chicken to the bag and make sure the entire chicken is marinated in buttermilk. You may need to double bag. Put into the fridge for 24 hours.
- Remove the chicken from the fridge one hour before you want to cook and remove as much of the buttermilk as possible.
- Blend together the lemon, cumin, coriander (if using), thyme, garlic, ghee/butter, salt and pepper.
- Loosen the skin from the breast and spread the blended butter mixture under the skin of the chicken as far as you can. Season generously, both inside and out.
- Tie the legs together.
- Place the chicken breast side down, into a narrow 10 inch pot or shallow roasting tin. Try and keep th legs pointed towards the back of the oven.
- Place into the oven and leave to cook for 30 minutes basting once every 15 minutes. Turn the chicken onto its back and cook for 30 minutes basting at 15 minutes.
- Turn the heat up to 250 C/Gas Mark 9 and cook for a further 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and rest for 10 minutes before serving.