Who doesn't like roast chicken? If you've come this far, it's because you love it and congratulations, because we'll tell you everything you need to know about this delicious dish, which has been part of the Spanish gastronomic culture and the world for centuries. In addition, we will share a simple and delicious recipe you can make at home and enjoy with family or friends, and we will explain all its benefits for your health and well-being. What are you waiting for? Read on and discover the secret of this universal dish.
How is a roast chicken prepared?
This food is straightforward, but buying whole requires some tricks to keep it crispy and juicy. The first thing you need is a good chicken, preferably free-range, whose meat is tender and tasty. To do this, buying a whole animal and cutting it yourself is best, or ask the butcher to do it for you. This is the best way to take advantage of all the chicken parts, including the bones and skin, which will give more flavor to the preparation.
You also need a preheated oven at 180°C and a baking dish or tray suitable for the oven. Place the chopped chicken in the container, season with salt and pepper to taste, and add a few sprigs of rosemary and fresh thyme to make the dish aromatic. You can add a few whole garlic cloves, with or without skin, as you prefer. Drizzle the chicken with extra virgin olive oil and place in the oven for about an hour and a half.
Halfway through the cooking time, turn the chicken pieces over and spread the juices they secrete. This will prevent them from drying out and burning.
While the chicken is cooking, you can prepare your favorite side dishes. A classic option is to make fried or roasted potatoes, which you can season with paprika, oregano, or parsley. You can also make a fresh and varied salad with lettuce, tomato, onion, carrot, corn, olives, cheese, or whatever you can think of. Another choice is sautéed or steamed vegetables, such as green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, or asparagus. You must choose the ingredients you like the most that go well with the chicken.
When the chicken is golden brown, crispy outside, tender, and juicy inside, remove it from the oven and place it on a large plate. Serve with potatoes, salad, or vegetables you have prepared,d and enjoy this rich and complete dish.
If you want to add more flavor, drizzle the chicken with some lemon juice or vinegar before serving. You can also make a sauce with the liquid left in the baking dish, adding water, flour, and white wine. Heat the sauce in a skillet over medium heat until thickened and pour over the chicken or serve separately in a sauce pan.
What are the benefits of this dish?
Roast chicken is not only delicious but also very healthy. This poultry is a white meat that provides the high-quality protein needed to maintain and repair the body's tissues. In addition, it contains less fat and cholesterol, which helps prevent cardiovascular diseases. Chicken also contains B vitamins such as B1, B2, B3, and B12, which are involved in energy metabolism and nervous system function. It also provides minerals such as iron, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc, strengthening the immune system and forming red blood cells.
This dish is also beneficial for mental and emotional health. It is a dish often shared with family or friends; it favors conviviality and good humor. In addition, because it is baked in the oven, it preserves the flavor and aroma of the chicken, stimulating the appetite and the pleasure of eating. Roast chicken also helps combat stress and anxiety because it contains tryptophan, an amino acid converted into serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and sleep.
Roast chicken in Spain
Roast chicken is a dish that has been part of Spanish culinary culture for centuries. It is thought that its origins date back to Roman times when the consumption of this bird was introduced in the Iberian Peninsula. In the Middle Ages, however, this preparation became popular among the working class, as it was a cheaper and more accessible meat than other meats. This dish was cooked in wood or clay ovens, which gave it a distinctive smoky flavor.
Over time, roast chicken has become a star dish in many regions of Spain, each with its recipe and ingredients. For example, in Catalonia, it is common to make “pollastre a l’ast, which is roasted on a rotating spit and seasoned with salt, pepper, and herbs. In Andalusia, they make chicken al ajillo, soaked in garlic, vinegar, and bay leaves before roasting.
In other regions, such as Castilla y León, grilled chicken is prepared with baked potatoes cooked with the chicken in the same tray. In Galicia, baked chicken is prepared with cachelos, potatoes boiled in their skins and cut into large pieces. In Asturias, chicken chilindrón is cooked with tomato, bell pepper, onion, and white wine.
As a universal dish, as well as in Spain, roast chicken has spread to other countries worldwide, adapting to each place's tastes and customs. Consequently, it is a very popular dish with many variations and possibilities. We encourage you to try it and enjoy it with your loved ones.