We all have flavours that instantly transport us to somewhere different. It could be that cardamom takes you straight back to that little bakery in Stockholm or star anise slips you away to the hustle and bustle of Chinatown.
For me, no flavour reminds me more of childhood than that of Old Bay seasoning. A Maryland institution, Old Bay is a blend of all different herbs and spices (celery salt, paprika, mustard, chilli, etc.) and is traditionally used on Maryland steamed crabs and in crab cakes.
The fun doesn’t need to stop with crabs though. Many a time I’ve coated chicken wings in Old Bay and roasted until crispy. So it seemed only sensible to take it to the next level – a whole rubbed and roasted chicken.
The result is a beautifully bronzed bird that is spicy, juicy and a truly authentic taste of childhood. Well, my childhood, at least.
Old Bay Roasted Chicken (serves 4)
2 kg organic whole chicken
2 tbsp Old Bay seasoning (if you live outside of America, you can easily order Old Bay online)
1 tsp garlic powder
3 tbsp olive oil
3 red onions
1 whole bulb of garlic, halved
Preheat oven to 240c/460f
Cut the onions, with skin still on, into rough wedges and place in the bottom of a roasting tin
Stuff the inside chicken cavity with the lemon half and garlic and place on top of the onions so it is not touching the bottom of the pan
Mix the oil, Old Bay and garlic powder into a liquid paste (taste it – if you need more of any seasoning, just add!) and rub/pour all over the chicken
Make sure you carefully lift the skin on the breasts to get the rub underneath there as well
Place into the oven and immediately turn the heat down to 190c/370f and roast for about an hour and a half
The chicken is ready when the juices between the leg and the thigh run clear
Let rest before carving and then pour the juices from the bottom of the pan all over the meat and serve with the roasted onions