Basil Chicken Recipe

This superbly easy basil chicken recipe will look after itself, which makes it a great meal to serve when you've got a busy day.

Put some large potatoes into the oven to bake at the same time, cook some peas or make a salad and you've got an extremely low effort meal.

Resting the chicken for 20 minutes after cooking, lets the juices go back into the meat, making it really succulent.

The first job is to make the basil butter.

Take about 1/4 cup, 2 oz (50g) of butter or whatever type of spread you prefer.

Soften it in the microwave for a few seconds if it's hard.

Add about a teaspoon of dried basil or you can use a handful of fresh chopped basil.

Use an ordinary kitchen fork and mix it together.

Pull the skin up away from the flesh.

Start at the neck end and work your fingers under the chicken skin.

I tend to just loosen the skin over the breast, but you can pull the skin away from the legs as well if you like.

Get the basil butter and push it into the cavity.

My hand looks huge, because I was holding the camera and it's a strange angle -it was a small chicken, but not that small!

I normally make curry out of the leg meat and a stew out of the rest of the carcass, which is why I only flavor the breast meat.

Chicken is an exceptionally good value choice, versatile and economical.

Using your hands on the skin, work the herb butter down the side of the chicken until it is as far as it will go.

You can see here how it has covered the breast of the bird.

Put it in a medium to hot oven - 350F, 180C, Gas Mark 4.

I like my chicken well done, so I would give a small chicken around an hour and a half. The general rule is 20 minutes per pound and 20 minutes on top.

You will get a lovely golden crispy skin.

Take it out of the roasting tin and put a piece of foil over to cover the chicken loosely.

Leave for around 20 minutes.

This lets the meat relax, the juices distribute leaving the  meat succulent and makes it easier to carve.

Don't worry, it won't go cold during this time.

Serve with some baked potatoes and either peas or salad or fries and coleslaw.

It's a good summer meal because you don't have to spend time in the kitchen when it's warm.

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