The Perfect Roast Chicken…getting there…

Again, almost 3 months have gone by without a single post. I am ashamed of myself! Work and life in general has swept me away but I am pretty determined to get this blog up and running again. So, in a bid to kick myself in the a** and get me churning posts out continuously, I am going to offer a $20 voucher to anyone who flags out a radio silence on this blog for 7 consecutive days. And just so because I have been reading a zillion contracts at work, let me state out my “term sheet” here. Erhem.:

  1. Parties: Valeebelly and readers of Valeebelly
  2. Purpose: An un-updated blog is disrespectful to members of the cyber community. In a desperate bid to garner some motivation to keep this blog going, the writer of this blog will be offering a $20 voucher to anyone who is able to detect prolong periods of inactivity with regards to content refreshment on this space.  The following points will lay out the key terms of this agreement.
  3. Effective Start Date: Date of this post
  4. Contract Duration: Perpetuity
  5. Website:
  6. Trigger Event for Reward: No blog posts for 7 consecutive days
  7. Reward: Total of $20 voucher(s) in any denomination and vendor of the reader’s choice. Vendor has to be a purveyor of good, wholesome food and/or its associated products and must be subjected to writer’s approval.
  8. Awardee: First reader to leave a comment on the latest blog post upon detecting 7 consecutive days of silence on this blog.
  9. Voucher Delivery Point: Self-collection. If delivery is needed, 3rd party delivery charges would be passed through. (hur hur hur)
  10. Termination: Upon bankruptcy or death from gluttony of writer , whichever earlier.
  11. Excused Periods: Periods where writer is away on a long-haul vacation or is at some god-forsaken corner of the Earth with no access to wifi.
  12. Force Majeure Clauses: Apocalypse scenarios or any technology advancement that wipes out blogging as a form of communication.
  13. Dispute Resolution and Governing Law: none

Disclaimer: For lawyers out there who are currently scoffing (in your heads) at me, I am not trained legally and so I do beg your pardon to forgive my structuring, wording and angmoh in general! peace!

alright……. now that we have gotten that out of the way. Let’s talk about roasting chicken! (ahhh. just in time for Christmas.)


This project has been my kitchen phobia for the longest of time. It looks so terribly hard to get everything right. The tenderness, juiciness, crispiness, done-ness…. Which is why I always find excuses to not embark on ‘roast’ projects.

That was until I checked out Jamie Oliver’s Perfect Roast Chicken on the web last Sunday and decided to take a leap of faith. Glad I did as it was fool-proof. The instructions were easy to follow and there wasn’t any elaborate preparation needed before chucking the bird in the oven. Yet, it turned out just the way I would have imagined it to be (on TV).

There are a few tips i would like to share though:

  • Bad mistake of peeling the onions and tearing the layers up. Don’t even bother doing it. Just chop the medium onions in 4 (skin and all) and dump it in the roasting pan. The thickness would then be just right for it not to be charred/grossly shrivelled when you take it out of the oven.
  • Try not to leave any of the veg too ‘exposed’. They burn easily. When Jamie says “pile your vegetable in the middle of the pan” and then “put the chicken over the vegetables”. Do it. Do not attempt any fancy mancy visual effects by surrounding your chicken with the vegetables so that you can score with instagrams. You would end up with a black gooey mess of charred vegetables at the end of it all and you definitely will not post a picture of that up anywhere on cyberspace.
  • Try to get fresh herbs for stuffing
  • Do not be too overenthusiastic in poking the lemon. I had quite a sourish basting liquid due to my frantic attempt in stabbing the lemon.


Leaving you with the entire chunk from the Jamie Oliver’s website. Follow every word of it. you won’t go wrong!


  • 1.6 kg higher-welfare chicken
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 small bunch fresh thyme, rosemary, bay or sage, or a mixture


To prepare your chicken
Take your chicken out of the fridge 30 minutes before it goes into the oven. Preheat your oven to 240°C/475°F/gas 9. There’s no need to peel the vegetables – just give them a wash and roughly chop them. Break the garlic bulb into cloves, leaving them unpeeled.

Pile all the veg and garlic into the middle of a large roasting tray and drizzle with olive oil. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper, rubbing it all over the bird. Carefully prick the lemon all over, using the tip of a sharp knife (if you have a microwave, you could pop the lemon in these for 40 seconds at this point as this will really bring out the flavour). Put the lemon inside the chicken’s cavity, with the bunch of herbs.

To cook your chicken
Place the chicken on top of the vegetables in the roasting tray and put it into the preheated oven. Turn the heat down immediately to 200°C/400°F/gas 6 and cook the chicken for 1 hour and 20 minutes. If you’re doing roast potatoes and veggies, this is the time to crack on with them – get them into the oven for the last 45 minutes of cooking.

Baste the chicken halfway through cooking and if the veg look dry, add a splash of water to the tray to stop them burning. When cooked, take the tray out of the oven and transfer the chicken to a board to rest for 15 minutes or so. Cover it with a layer of tinfoil and a tea towel and put aside. Now is the time to make




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