This recipe for lemon and thyme roast chicken is perfect for that Sunday roast dinner. This is a simple recipe with only a few ingredients that give a burst of flavour. Leftovers are wonderful in a salad the next day or on your favourite wrap.
Continue reading for money saving ideas, tips on roasting chicken, carving and using the leftovers to make stock for use in soups and stews.
This dish is both gluten and dairy free.
*The Nutrition Facts label above should be used as a guide only. The amounts can change depending on the brands you use. To reduce the fat content always try to buy reduced fat products and lean meat when you can afford it. Look for reduced salt products and low sugar without artificial sugar replacements.
Always check your chicken before the required time as some ovens will be hotter than others. You will know when the chicken is done by poking the legs with a skewer and the juices run clear.
Alternatively, use a meat thermometer (paid link) by inserting the tip close to the bone in the breast but not all the way through to the cavity. The thermometer will indicate the internal temperature which should be 330°F (165°C) when the chicken is done.
If you want to stuff your chicken it is a good idea to roast the chicken either on a rack in your pan or on a bed of quartered onions. This will allow heat around the chicken and ensure even cooking.
If you are looking for a roasting pan with a rack try this top rated quality pan from Amazon. (Paid link)
Carving Roast Chicken
The cheats way is to use an electric carving knife (paid link) as it is easier to get even thin slices quickly however a sharp carving knife will do the job just as good.
It is best to cut along the base of the breast first from one end to another then slice down parallel to the breast bone. Once each breast is sliced the legs can be removed by bending backwards then cut through the joint.
The thighs are removed in the same way as the legs by bending back then cutting through the joint. For a chicken Maryland; remove the leg and thigh together in one piece.
This straight and serrated knife sharpener from Amazon (paid link) is a great way to extend the life of your knives.
Using the Entire Chicken
After dinner take a few minutes to pick all of the meat from the carcass. Leftover roast chicken is wonderful on sandwiches, wraps and salads.
There is also meat underneath the carcass which isn’t so appetising to us but your cat or dog will love it. Just remember to never give your pets cooked chicken bones as they may splinter and cause problems.
The carcass can then be placed in a stockpot then covered with water. Add a diced carrot, celery, parsley and a bay leaf then bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes to an hour. The longer you cook it the stronger the stock will be.
Strain off the liquid, leave to cool then place in an airtight freezer safe container. Freeze until needed for your next soup or stew. This will not only save money on buying stock but will also taste so much better than anything you can buy.
Save money by buying whole chickens when you see them on sale. They can be frozen for up to six months. Thaw in the fridge for 24 hours before cooking. Frozen chickens can be cheaper than fresh but it will depend on the time of the year.
Consider growing your own thyme. It is a perennial herb which grows well in many different climatic conditions and will give you a ready supply at your back door for many years. See this Thyme Guide for more information.
This guide to Creating Budget Friendly Meals covers everything from planning to making the most of in season vegetables and meat to using raw ingredients to create healthy and nutritious meals which cost less to make. A little forethought can save you a great deal of money over the course of the year.
For ideas on living sustainably at home, try this Homesteading guide.
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