Chef and Steward’s Jamaican roast Chicken
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1.4- 1.5 kg whole fresh chicken 2 tsp sea salt 2 tsp coarse cracked black pepper, freshly cracked
2 tsp coarse cracked allspice, freshly cracked 1 tbsp olive oil 3 large garlic cloves 7 sprigs thyme ½ scotch bonnet pepper ( substitute with habanero or extra tsp black pepper, if desired) 2 tsp cane vinegar 1 tbsp butter 2 stalks scallion/ green onions
Wash and pat the chicken dry. Finely chop scotch bonnet/ habanero, discarding the seeds. Finely dice the garlic and strip thyme leaves from stems; combine with black pepper, allspice, scotch bonnet/ habanero, salt, oil and vinegar, and mix in a small bowl. Thinly slice the green parts of the stems of the green onions and set aside till required. Rub the spice paste all over the chicken, getting into every nook and cranny and the cavities as well as the neck area. Gently ease skin away from chicken in the breast and back areas and rub marinade underneath. Tuck the sliced green onions under the skin as well. Place the white stems of the green onions along with the stems of the thyme inside the cavity. Truss the legs together with kitchen twine. Tuck the wing tips underneath the back of the chicken so that the chicken will present nicely on the table when done. Marinate for at least 2 hours, although keeping it overnight will yield best results. Bring the chicken to room temperature before cooking. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 180° C. Bring butter to room temperature; divide into two portions and stuff underneath the skin of each breast. Roast chicken for an hour, then crank up the oven to 220° C for another 5 minutes to brown. Allow chicken to rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting. Present it whole at the table and carve tableside for extra fanfare.