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AIRFRYDAY

What’s cooking this AirFryday: Roast chicken with rosemary, garlic and lemon

What’s cooking this AirFryday: Roast chicken with rosemary, garlic and lemon
Tony Jackman’s air fryer roast chicken with rosemary, garlic and lemon. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

There was only one dish I was going to make the first time I tried out my fancy new 5.7l air fryer; the one thing that had thwarted me: a nice big, fat chicken. With rosemary, lemon and garlic, of course.

And then there were two. First came the Kenwood kHealthy twin drawer air fryer that has graced my kitchen countertop for half a year now. It’s been a blessing beyond my imagination, a true eye-opener. Now our sponsors, @home, have provided a second machine, a compact, funky Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer which is more like most of the air fryers out there in that it has one fairly large basket, so the one problem I have had – the size of each of the Kenwood’s drawers is limiting for certain dishes – has gone away.

There was only one dish I was going to make the first time I tried out the new machine. The one thing that had thwarted me: a nice big, fat chicken. The size of this machine’s basket is more than enough for a sizable chook, which is perhaps one of the reasons it has won awards for best air fryer. Adding to its appeal is that it heats up very quickly, which I have learnt is a key factor in air fryer cooking, and its versatility: it can roast, bake, grill, reheat and even dehydrate things such as tomatoes or plums, should you want to make your own (air)dried tomatoes or prunes.

For all its apparently compact size (it is a might smaller than the Kenwood) it has a whopping 5.7-litre capacity, and all that in one big drawer. It was more than a match for my hefty chicken, waiting on the countertop for its foray in an air fryer. The maximum size of chicken it can accommodate is 1.8kg which is a fair-sized bird.

I have yet to investigate its “set it and forget it” smart programsthat even customise to your last settings”, and its “EvenCrisp technology” which “locks in more flavour and nutrients without adding any harmful oils or fats”. What I did comprehend, the first time around, was that the presets for roasting, baking, etc have a set temperature which obviously has been selected after much trialling by the manufacturers. I felt it wise to trust their judgement, and the bird turned out perfectly, using times that I had chosen after a degree of browsing the internet for roast chicken cooking times in air fryers.

The manufacturers also sent me recipes for you to try, including pop tart cookies, air fryer chicken drumsticks, and even banana bread, a real lockdown throwback now to be cooked in your air fryer.

First, though, there had to be that chook. 

(Serves 4)

Ingredients

1 x 1.8 kg chicken, wing tips removed

2 Tbsp olive oil

4 rosemary sprigs

1 lemon, quartered

4 garlic cloves, crushed

Salt and black pepper

Method

Clean and dry the bird and season the cavity generously with salt and pepper. Insert the rosemary sprigs, crushed whole garlic cloves, and the lemon wedges. Place a few extra sprigs of rosemary at the bottom of the basket where the chicken will be placed, after first giving it an oil spray. 

Brush the outside of the chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper on all sides.

Preheat the machine to 193℃ (or thereabouts, mine has 193℃ as a default option when you preset it to roast).

Place the chicken in, breast side down. Roast for 55 minutes at 193℃, turning the bird over after 30 minutes to roast for another 25 minutes.

Let it rest for 10 minutes before carving. DM/TGIFood

Follow Tony Jackman on Instagram @tony_jackman_cooks.

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