Raised as part of a family of legal-eagles, it is no surprise that Natasha works at an attorney’s office. Unlike her brother and sister, who are both attorney’s, Natasha’s creative streak lead her to a career in public relations. Natasha is also the owner and founder of fashion label, Natalia Jeffreys.

Natasha is a real outdoors girl and enjoys camping and socialising with friends. She is inspired by her 80-year-old grandfather (who is active on social media) to live her life to the full.

 

Baked Vs Roasted chicken

 For most people, baked and roasted chicken are the same thing, but technically, a baked chicken is cooked at a temperature under 200 C. Many chicken recipes cook chicken in the oven at 180°C to ensure it is cooked through, not only on the outside but on the inside too. This especially applies to a full chicken. 

A roast chicken is cooked at a temperature of 200°C which gives it a beautiful colour and delicious charring. The art of roasting a whole chicken isn’t as easy or simple as it looks. Rare or even medium-rare chicken can cause serious illness. 

In Natasha’s recipe, the chicken is first roasted at a high temperature to achieve the colour and outer crispness of the chicken, then cooked at a lower temperature to cook the chicken through and make sure it is properly cooked.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 4 tbs butter, softened
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary finely chopped (or 2tsp dried rosemary)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3-4 large carrots, chopped 
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 10-12 baby potatoes 

Instructions

  • If your chicken is frozen, be sure to thaw it 1-2 days in advance. When ready to prepare, preheat oven to 200°C and adjust your oven rack so the chicken will sit in the centre of the oven. 
  • Remove neck and giblets from inside the cavity of the chicken and pat dry all over with paper towels.
  • In a bowl, combine softened butter, zest of the lemon and chopped rosemary. 
  • Season the outside of the chicken and inside the cavity with salt and pepper. 
  • Cut the lemon in half and place both halves inside the cavity of the bird. 
  • Use your fingers to loosen and lift the skin above the breasts (on the top of the chicken) and smooth a few tablespoons of the herb butter underneath.
  • Microwave the remaining herb butter mixture for 10 seconds (it doesn’t need to be melted, just softened). Smear the remaining herb butter all over the outside of the chicken, legs and wings. 
  • Add the onion, carrots and potatoes to the bottom of a baking dish. Drizzle a little olive oil over the veggies, season them with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Place the chicken on top, and tie the legs together with kitchen twine if you want (not required).
  • Roast the chicken, uncovered, at 200°C for 10-15 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to 180°C and roast for 50 minutes. The skin should be golden brown and the juices should run clear.
  • Check the chicken about halfway through cooking and if the skin is getting overly brown you can cover it with a piece of tinfoil to protect the breast meat from overcooking. 
  • Remove chicken from the oven and cover with tinfoil. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes before carving. Serve with the cooked vegetables at the bottom of the pan. 
  • To make a delicious gravy: Add a little flour to the leftover fat and juices in the roasting pan and whisk until it forms a smooth paste. Add some water or chicken stock – a little at a time – and whisk for about 5 minutes until the gravy is of a consistency to your liking. If too runny, add a little more flour and if too thick add more liquid. You can also add a little salt and pepper to enhance the flavour.

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Recipe courtesy of Miss SA and Natasha Joubert