Pressure Is Just Another Choice…. Two Roast Chooks


I’m thinking maybe I should try to buy a house. It’s funny how things change. I’ve had a house before and when I sold it, I thought I would never buy again. I was going to be free, renting for the rest of my life, no gardens, no maintenance, no rates, and even a sea view. It was lovely to start, but with along with any freedom comes restrictions. People who come sniffing round your home every three months, telling you that perhaps the garage could do with a tidy up (even though no one can see it). They might mention how lucky you are to get a sea view at such reasonable rates, conveniently forgetting that you move twice a year to accommodate the owners coming home every summer (proving quite conclusively that actually, if you’re rich, you can have your cake and eat it too). They’ll mention more than once that you’ll have to repair any holes made by the careful but determined application of art in a vain attempt to make it feel like your home. Oh, and God forbid you leave your surfboards out on your lawn and clutter the lower frame of your prematurely retired neighbour’s sea peeps.

I’d felt the same about cooking – unless it was for the kids, it was going to be Weetbix or eggs on toast for the rest of my days. Lately though, in the face of Spring’s twinkling and irresistible shine, I’m starting to envision a rustic outdoor table. It’s decorated with pretty country chic glasses from the op shop, wildflowers picked from the beach and six or so friends, all in my own private little garden. Someone’s kindly bought some of that gorgeous liver parfait and crusty bread, and a couple of simply prepared golden roast chickens make a tempting centrepiece. Two bottles of crisp Rosé and conversation that delves deeper than the actions of our extended social group, and I’m in heaven. No pressure, no rent inspections, just adults realising that there are lots of different freedoms in this world, and choosing not to be stressed is actually one of them.

Good Ol’ Roast Chook for Six to Eight

2 whole chickens

200g butter softened

2 lemons, sliced in half

2 sprigs of thyme

1 full garlic head, sliced in half

6 tbsp Simon Gault Home Cuisine Moroccan Seasoning

2 tbsp olive oil

Option of a selection of roast friendly vegetables of your choice

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the chickens in a roasting tray with a bit of space between them to allow the heat to circulate evenly. Make a couple of small incisions in the skin (usually around the upper wing area so you can get up and around the whole body) and gently push softened butter between the skin and the meat. In a bowl, mix the oil with the Simon Gault Home Cuisine Moroccan seasoning, then rub all over the skin’s surface. Stuff lemons into the cavity of the chickens with the thyme sprigs. Add the garlic and any vegetables to the tray and roast in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the chickens are cooked and golden brown (when pierced with a knife, the juices should run clear). Note – it normally takes around the same time to cook one chicken as it does two, perhaps another 5-10 minutes to be sure.


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