The Thyme Is Now


Lemon & Thyme Roast Chicken, originally uploaded by jaxies.

Today has been my completely indulgent and utterly useless day. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to have a full weekend to myself of doing nothing whatsoever, since I’ve been working every Saturday (and some Sundays) for the past month and a bit. Yesterday I had decided that today was going to be dedicated to sleeping and recharging my batteries, and you know what? I didn’t get out of bed until 5pm and it was good. Sometimes you just need to say ‘screw it’, and just take that totally lazy day. When I did finally roll out of bed I felt refreshed and happy, totally at peace with the world – just as it should be.

With cooking, too, you should have a little book of go-to meals that are easy to whip up with nary a thought, and for me roast chicken is just one of those meals. What, after all, is better than a golden crispy-skinned bird with soft, succulent flesh that practically melts in your mouth, accompanied by little baby patooties, all buttery and delicious? Very little, my friend. Very little indeed.

Of course today hasn’t been totally useless – I may have spent all day in bed, but I managed to get some very important business sorted out. As I may have mentioned before, I am in the process of re-designing my site as part of my process of re-marketing myself as a food writer, photographer and private caterer. I discovered this morning that my domain server and host for the past six years has, in effect, been a dead hosting service for the past three years since selling the company and firing all the employees (in that order). They were essentially taking my money and providing me with space but absolutely no support, which meant that as long as you wanted to remain on a basic plan you were fine. Unfortunately I do not, but despite numerous attempts at contact there was no response from any of their supposed “dedicated team of customer service representatives”. So I sat there panicking and stressing, decided to sleep on it and in the morning found a solution.

Thanks to Host Duplex I not only rescued my domain from the jaws of a greedy money-grabbing company, but also had the founder of the company talk me through how to do so for over an hour on their site’s live chat support function. He then personally migrated my entire domain over to their servers in mere hours. Absolute blessing – and to think I only checked them out to begin with because they responded to my Twitter rant about the ex-hosting service! Anyway, keep your eyes peeled – I Am A Feeder is moving imminently.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, as well as talking to people “in the business” and getting advice from friends near and far. So for the big news: from January 2011 I’m going to be doing some travelling, and I may even be coming to a town near you! Here’s my current itinerary (but nothing booked yet, so all subject to change!):

Hong Kong
Australia: Sydney & Melbourne, possibly more, maybe Brisbane?
Vancouver BC
Seattle WA
Portland OR
San Diego CA
Phoenix AZ
Texas: San Antonio & possibly Austin
Chicago IL
Boston MA
New Jersey
New York City

I’m planning on eating, photographing, reviewing, writing and trying to take a couple of cookery classes whilst I’m away, which should be somewhere between 3-4 months or so. If you are from any of these cities and have recommendations for places to eat and visit, or know where I can take a few cookery classes, please drop me an email or a comment! I’d love to hear from you. I’ll update you all when plans are a little more finalised.

Anywho, enough about all that. Go get a chicken and roast it up, baby: you deserve it.


1 medium free-range corn-fed whole chicken
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 lemon, plus two slices
Handful of thyme
Salt & black pepper
Vegetable Oil
1/4 large onion

For The Potatoes
Handful of baby new potatoes, washed
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsps chopped fresh parsley
Salt & black pepper

1. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees C.
2. Wash and trim the excess fat off your chicken. This involves running cold water over the bird and through its cavity. Using a pair of meat scissors (they’re much more heavy-duty than regular scissors) remove the bishop’s nose and trim the fat surrounding the area – there are two globules just on the inside of the opening. Be careful, however, not to remove too much skin as it will shrink during roasting, exposing the flesh and drying it out. If there is any of the neck protruding snip this off as well. For the Americans: when I was living in America I discovered that whole chickens are sold with the giblets still intact (or sometimes in a little bag in the cavity). This isn’t a problem for me, after all I have no qualms about touching raw meat, but some of you might not like it so much. If that’s the case, use a rubber glove to pull out the giblets (Google it if you’re not sure what these are) and discard.
3. Pat your chicken dry with paper kitchen towel and place on a baking tray. Pour about 2 tbsps of vegetable oil over the bird – this will help to crisp the skin – then the lemon juice. Massage into your bird, making sure it is well-covered. Season well with salt and pepper, the thyme leaves (run your fingers the opposite way the leaves grow to remove them from the stalk) and place the two lemon slices on top. Stuff the 1/4 onion and 1/2 lemon into the cavity along with a few branches of thyme.
4. Roast your chicken in the oven for about 40-50 mins, depending on the size of your bird, until the skin is golden, the flesh cooked through and white, but still juicy. Chicken is one of those things you don’t want to undercook too much, but a dried-out bird is one of the worst things you could ever put in your mouth. Practice makes perfect.
5. When there are about fifteen minutes to go, fill a pot with cold water and pop your baby new potatoes in (things from the ground always go in cold water, remember). As the pot comes to the boil, add a pinch of salt. When the potatoes are cooked (test with a knife), drain, then mix in the butter and chopped parsley, giving it a good mix through to melt the butter and get the potatoes evenly coated.
6. Serve the potatoes alongside the chicken, with a little of the lemony chicken juices (much more appealing than it sounds) that will have collected in the roasting pan over drizzled over the top. Give yourself a pat on the back for having completed a delicious meal with minimal effort.

That’s all for now. Thank you all for your continued support and lovely comments – you give me the courage to turn a hobby into a career. Until next time, peace and love.

Jax x

This post made the Foodbuzz Top 9 on Monday 6th August, 2010!

12 Responses to “The Thyme Is Now”

  1. Monet Says:

    So you better come to Austin! I have a room for you. And I was so excited to get that story from you. I just got home from the River so I probably won't get to it until tomorrow, but I can't wait! Thanks for sharing with me!

  2. Chanel11 Says:

    Your day reminded me of this quote I love – How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then to rest afterward. ~Spanish Proverb

    I also slept in late today, I woke up at the normal hour of 7am and thought, bugger it, I'm quite happy to continue sleeping and it is Sunday, so why not. That's what Sundays are for :)

    What an awesome trip you are going to take! As a Melbournian I will have to ponder what recommendations I can give you, it's funny how little I know about my own city, I really should act like a tourist and see more!

  3. Cooking Gallery Says:

    I love my lazy days and often dedicate my weekends to long hours of lying in bed…;)! And what an exciting news! You'll be travelling 'to eat', that's just my kind of thing ;)! The chicken looks fabulous by the way!

  4. Chef Dennis Says:

    a good roasted chicken just can't be beat….I do love the skin too! to me that's comfort food!!
    Your upcoming travel sounds exciting!
    I am in New Jersy, but right near Philadelphia. My school is right outside of Philly. If it works out I would love to see you, My school would be happy to have you as a guest too if that was possible! I know you will be so busy, you'll have so much to do. Philly is a great eating city too, and you could see first hand our famous philly cheesesteak and roast pork!
    all the best

  5. Ashley Says:


    Izmir, Turkey to be exact. Look it up, it's lovely! :)

  6. Tokyo Terrace Says:

    Wow! What a fabulous weekend you had and what an exciting itinerary you have in your future! And the chicken looks pretty darn amazing too :) Congrats on the Top 9!

  7. wendyweekendgourmet Says:

    Congrats on the Top 9…looks like I stumbled upon your blog at just the right time. I live in San Antonio, so please let me know if you need any info about the city for your visit. I can tell you places to eat, shop, etc. I'll even give you a tour of the city if you like!

  8. Reeni Says:

    I'm completely envious of your travel plans! How exciting! It's nice to have a lazy weekend – this has been one for me too and I'm dreading it's end. One of my favorite things in the world is a roasted chicken! Nothing compares to the smell of it cooking and the comfort it brings.

  9. Lauren Says:

    I have been planning to make a Lemon and Thyme roasted chicken, ever since I started growing my own Thyme.

    I think it's finally getting cold enough that I don't mind having the oven on for that long! Great recipe!

  10. Mgoh Says:

    Congratz on the Top 9! the chicken looks sassy!! ;)

  11. Mochachocolata Rita Says:

    can't wait for you to come to hk jaxxx! :D

  12. Jackie Says:

    Monet – you are so awesome. Seriously. I will take you up on that offer!

    Chanel11 – I hear Melbourne is the city of great eats! My Aunt lives in Sydney and we're planning on going to Melbourne for a few days for some foodie fun – let me know if you have any definite recommendations!

    Cooking Gallery – thank you! I am really excited :D

    Dennis – I would LOVE to visit you and your girls! I'll see if I can fit it in!

    Ash – gotcha! You let me know your plans too, eh?

    Tokyo Terrace – aw, thank you! Thanks for swinging by!

    Wendy – thank you! I'd love to have a tour of San Antonio! I'm actually staying with a friend there, but I'd love to see what other points of view there are about the city! Thanks for stumbling upon my blog =)

    Reeni – there is very little in the world as good as a roast chicken, eh? Plus you can do SO MUCH with one chicken!

    Lauren – thank you! And wow, I'm envious of your homegrown thyme! Let me know how this turns out if you do make it ;)

    Mgoh – haha, thanks lovely!

    Rita – I KNOW! :D We are going to eat it like there's no tomorrow!

    Jax x

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