Fool-proof herb roast chicken recipe.

If I have to name one blogger that inspired me to cook and share recipes on my blog, it would be The Pioneer Woman. For one whole year prior to moving into our current home, I read her blog every single day and fantasized about cooking and making delicious, wholesome food.

She’s the reason why I enjoy cooking so much, her step-by-step pictures make cooking so much less daunting and accessible to someone like me, who had never cooked anything beyond frying an egg. She is an amazing woman; a wonderful mother, wife, a wordsmith, a brilliant photographer and of course, an amazing cook! I’d be happy to be able to achieve 1/10 of what she has.

(Btw, she also has a dog named Charlie! Teeheehee)

So anyway, I found this fool proof herb roast chicken recipe from her. It has become my fallback recipe for whenever I have no idea what to cook but would like something with a bit of a flair…I’d make this roast chicken. It’s ridiculously easy to prepare & cook and tastes perfect.

# – Fool-proof herb roast chicken.

The ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken about 1.3kg, cleaned & gutted
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 handful of 3 different herbs, dry or fresh (I used sage, basil and chervil)
  • 60 ml of cooking oil (I used grapeseed oil)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • # – First, clean and pat the chicken dry with paper towels. This step is important to get crispy chicken skin.

    # – Then, rub salt all over the chicken as well as the cavity.

    # – Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the quartered onion, garlic and lemon. Don’t overstuff the cavity or the chicken won’t cook evenly. Set chicken aside.

    # – Next, chop up all the herbs finely.

    # – Put the chopped herbs in a bowl and pour in the cooking oil.

    # – Season the herbs with salt and pepper. Stir to mix.

    # – Now, massage the herb oil all over the chicken. Don’t pour in all the oil, the objective is just to get the herbs sticking to the skin. If there’s any leftover herb, feel free to stuff them into the cavity.

    # – Stick it into a pre-heated oven at 230 degrees celcius for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes.

    # – Herb roast chicken, DONE!

    # – Lift the chicken out from the pool of chicken fat & serve with assortment of roast vegetables.

    # – Crispy skin and juicy, aromatic flesh. Yums.

    If you’ve always been afraid to roast a whole chicken, I can understand how daunting it must be. However, this recipe seriously changed my perceptions and I hope it would yours too.

    Vietnamese Chicken with Mint – my best Asian dish to date?

    If you don’t like to eat chicken breast cause they’re bland and tough, this recipe might change your mind. I got this recipe from Chef Wan’s book, “Simply Sedap!”. It’s one of my favourite recipe books! The instructions are clear and the flavours are always bang-on.

    Anyway, I made slight changes in the recipe but they didn’t ruin the recipe so if you have Chef Wan’s book, you may find a slight disparity between what’s posted here and in his book.

    This dish was so good that the BF claimed that it’s my best Asian dish to date. That allegation kind of threw me off a little (because I’m certain I’ve made Asian dishes that are comparably good!!!) but I had to agree with him that it was beautifully fragrant and every morsel was juicy, succulent and full of flavour.

    # – Vietnamese chicken with mint.

    Despite having 10 large red chillies in this dish, it was surprisingly mild! What can I say, the all the ingredients in this recipe really managed to balance one another out brilliantly!

    The marinade, finely ground:

  • 1 large onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 inch of ginger
  • 1 tablespoon of nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon of ground white pepper
  • The spice paste, finely ground:

  • 10 large red chillies
  • 1 tablespoon of shrimp paste (belacan)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 inch of ginger
  • Other ingredients:

  • 500 grams of chicken breast, cut into thin strips
  • 3 lemon grass, sliced thinly
  • 60 ml of cooking oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt & sugar to taste
  • Handful of mint leaves
  • # – First, throw all the ingredients for marinade into a food processor and blitz till oblivion.

    # – Now throw in the chicken slices into the marinade and mix till they’re evenly coated.

    # – Cover and stick in the fridge for at least 2 hours. I left them overnight though :)

    # – When ready to cook, chuck all the ingredients for spice paste into a food processor and blitz till oblivion, again.

    # – Set the spice paste aside while you continue with other tasks.

    # – Heat up the oil in a pan and then throw in the sliced lemongrass.

    # – Next, throw in the spice paste and cook till fragrant. Cook for a little while more till the mixture looks like it’s excreting some oil.

    # – Now, throw in the marinaded chicken slices.

    # – When the chicken slices have cooked through, season with salt and sugar to your taste.

    # – Then, stir in the lime juice.

    # – Turn off the heat, throw in the mint leaves and stir.

    # – Vietnamese chicken with mint, DONE!

    As this is a Vietnamese recipe, I am convinced that the original version of this dish may actually contain pork…and that’s exactly what I’d do next hehehe.

    So…my best Asian dish to date? After 10 months of cooking actively? Guess I have to cook more and practise more!

    Sweet & sour chicken recipe.

    I very rarely deep fry my food. Not because we don’t like fried food but cause I hate dealing with the leftover surplus of oil. I guess I could pour the surplus into an oil pot but you know what, I haven’t gotten around to buy one that looks nice and fits into the interior of the kitchen. Yes, this is one of my shortcomings as a human being.

    We’re definitely going to get a electronic deep fryer but before that, we’d need to get a washing/dryer machine, a stand mixer, a new 4-6 slice toaster, a new kettle, a new rice cooker that’s not white in colour…all in that order :P

    # – Sweet & sour chicken recipe.

    Anyway, I made an exception for this sweet & sour chicken because (1) it’s time to redeem myself for sweet & sour chicken disaster circa 2006 and (2) it’s DELICIOUS!

    For the marinade:

    • 2 pieces of chicken breasts, cut into desirable bite size
    • 1 tablespoon of bicarbonate soda
    • 4 tablespoons of corn flour
    • 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
    • 2 tablespoon of chinese rice wine (optional)
    • A pinch of salt and pepper

    For the sweet & sour sauce:

    • 300 ml of water
    • 2 tablespoons of tamarind paste
    • 3 tablespoons of tomato puree or tomato ketchup
    • 1 tablespoon of sugar
    • A pinch of salt

    For the mix of vegetables:

    • 2 medium onions, quartered
    • 150 grams of pineapple, cut into cubes
    • 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes
    • 1 large red chilli, seeded and cut into large rectangles (you can use capsicum)
    • A sliver of ginger

    # – First, marinate the chicken in the marinade ingredients for about 30 minutes.

    # – Then, prepare the sweet & sour sauce by stirring the sauce ingredients together till combined. Set aside.

    # – Heat up enough oil to cover the chickens in a wok and throw the chicken in one by one. Don’t crowd the wok and work in batches.

    # – Remove when golden brown and place on a paper towel to drain.

    # – After all the frying, pour away the oil to leave just about 2 tablespoons in the wok. Throw in the mix of vegetables.

    # – Followed by the sweet & sour sauce prepared earlier. Allow it to simmer gently.

    # – Taste and season with salt if needed.

    # – When sauce has achieved the desired consistency, throw in the deep fried chicken nuggets. Stir to coat chicken with the sauce. Remove from heat to serve.

    # – Sweet & sour chicken, DONE!

    # – Serve with piping hot rice. Yums :)

    The chicken was tender on the inside and crispy on the outside. The sauce had just the right balance of flavours while the vegetables were nice & crunchy. Absolutely divine with rice.

    I believe you can substitute chicken with other meats like pork or fish as well. Have fun cooking!