What is roasting, anyway?
Roasting is a cooking technique where you use dry heat at high temperatures of at least 150℃ or higher to cook large pieces of meat and certain vegetables. Roasting enhances flavour through caramelization of the surface and uses indirect diffused heat to cook the meat through. It works especially well for whole birds because it cooks the bird uniformly from all sides.
Easter brings to mind a glorious feast with a whole roasted golden-brown bird at the centrepiece. Whether it’s chicken, turkey, duck, or quail, the basic principles of roasting remain the same, just the cooking times change. If you’re unsure about roasting a whole bird, we’ve gathered a few tips to ensure you roast the bird perfectly every time – crispy on the outside, and moist and tender on the inside.
Cook at room temperature
Before you start prepping the bird, make sure it comes to room temperature. This helps it cook evenly when you put it in the oven to roast. Just take it out from your refrigerator about 30 minutes before you need to start cooking.
Get fat under the skin
The key to crispy skin and a tender bird is the fat that you add just under the skin. Butter is the perfect option. Not only does it help give the bird a beautiful golden brown colour, it’s also extremely delicious! You could also use olive oil if you like, but the skin may not crisp up as much.
Roast on a high temperature
The difference between baking and roasting is the temperature of the oven. Since you want the skin to turn golden brown, crisp up and stay crispy, you’ll need to cook it at a high temperature. The cooking time will vary depending on the bird, but high temperature is key.
Baste in butter or pan juices
A great trick to ensure the bird stays moist, is to baste it while it’s cooking. For this you could use a marinade, plain butter, or the juices that have dripped from the bird on to the roasting pan. But don’t baste too many times or the skin will lose its crispiness.
Check if it is done
The only way to know for sure that the bird is cooked completely is to check its internal temperature with a meat thermometer. It should read 75°C for most birds. The best place to check is in the thickest part of the thigh on the inner portion of the bird.
Allow the bird to rest
After all that roasting, the bird will look glossy and delicious, but you must allow it to rest before you dig in. Resting meat allows all the internal juices to redistribute themselves so when you cut into the bird you don’t lose them all over your plate. That’s how the meat stays moist.
Are you ready to roast a whole bird for Easter? Remember these points, and take a look at this handy chart, and we’re sure you can roast a whole bird perfectly!
|Chicken||200°C||45 minutes per kg + 20 minutes||10-15 minutes|
|Quail||260°C||12-15 minutes||5-10 minutes|
|Duck||220°C||40 minutes per kg + 20 minutes||10-20 minutes|
|Turkey||180°C||40 minutes per kg||20-30 minutes|
Order from our range of Easter special meats and have a glorious feast with your loved ones. Happy Easter!