Roast chicken is a staple in our house. Week-night, Sunday lunch, it’s good anytime. It can seem a bit ordinary sometimes, but serving it with Yorkshire puddings (see my Yorkshire Pudding blog March 10th 2012 for a fool-proof recipe) and homemade gravy makes it extra special.
My Fool-Proof Method for Roasting a Chicken:
- Roast the bird on a trivet or wire rack in a roasting tin, with water in the bottom. If you don’t have a trivet you can always use a couple of carrots to rest the meat on.
- Cover with a lid or tin foil until the last 20-30 minutes of the cooking time.
- Cook in a preheated oven at 190°C/Fan 170°C/Gas 5 for 20 minutes per lb/500g, plus an extra 20 minutes. The juices should run clear when you pierce the thickest part of the bird (the bottom of the breast) with a skewer. I also find an easy way to check is cutting the skin between the leg, and the breast and checking whether the flesh of the thigh is white.
The bonus of roasting a whole chicken is the leftovers. I usually get 2 nights meals out of one chicken, and if it’s big enough sandwiches for lunch too. Keep checking out the blog for different recipes using leftover chicken.
Chicken – a 3lb chicken will easily feed 2-3 people for 2 meals.
Red Onion – 1 medium (peeled & quartered)
Garlic – 3-4 cloves (peeled & halved)
Bay leaf – 1
Seasoning – salt, pepper and Italian seasoning
Plain flour – 1 tablespoon
Chicken stock – ½ pint/300ml (1 small foil container – see my Chicken Stock blog March 21st 2012)
Cornflour (optional for thicker gravy) – 1-2 tablespoons (depending on how thick you want your gravy)
Equipment: Roasting tin with trivet or wire rack and a lid (or tin foil), saucepan, whisk, sieve (optional), jug or gravy boat
- Place the chicken on the wire rack in the roasting tin, place half the onion, 2 cloves of garlic, and the bay leaf in the cavity, and the rest in the roasting tin.
- Season the skin, cover with the lid or tin foil and roast according to the times above, removing the lid/foil for the last 20 minutes or so of cooking.
- Rest on a plate for 10 minutes, in a warm place (I use my top oven) lightly covered with foil for 10 minutes before carving.
- Meanwhile, heat up the stock in a saucepan.
- Spoon off the excess fat from the roasting tin and discard the onion and garlic.
- Put the roasting tin on a low-medium heated hob, pour in the flour and stir into the meat juices, and scraping up the sediment, for a couple of minutes.
- Gradually add the stock, stirring in well so lumps don’t form, and bring to the boil (sometimes it’s easier to pour into the saucepan at this stage if the baking tray is large). Simmer for a couple of minutes. If you like a thicker gravy mix about 1 tablespoon of cornflour with about 2 tablespoons of water until it’s smooth, and add to the gravy, simmering for another couple of minutes.
- Pour into a gravy boat or jug, using a sieve if it looks a bit lumpy or there’s a lot of sediment.