A roast chicken is a staple in many British households, often served on a Sunday, but an instant crowd-pleaser any of day of the week, it’s a sure fire way to get everyone gathered the table together, as well as cleverly preparing for the week ahead with leftovers ideal for making pies, stews and all manner of winter-warmers.
For centuries, the British were famous for their roast meat. Traditionally the meat was cooked on a spit over a fire or in front of a fireplace where it would slowly be roasted before being enjoyed together as a family.
Whilst a roast chicken can be simple to cook, you can bet that every chef (both home and professional) will have their way of doing it and most people will attest that nothing beats their mum’s roast.
So, we asked some of our foodie friends for their top tips on how to get a perfect roast chicken…
Best-selling author and wellbeing expert Jasmine Hemsley said, “Thyme and sage are the kind of herbs that grow in abundance in the garden but never get used much – this is where you can go to town and use handfuls to stuff your bird. In our house, we also save any half lemons, limes or oranges which we’ve used in other recipes too, when combined with half an onion it makes an easy fragrant dish. Make sure your citrus peel is organic/unwaxed and if you don’t have leftover peel just put the whole thing in!”
Meanwhile, chef, author and TV presenter Clodagh McKenna claims, “To get the best roast chicken I always mix together softened butter, chopped fresh tarragon, Dijon mustard, crushed garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Using clean hands, smear this mixture over the entire chicken and underneath the skin.”
Model and actress Poppy Delevingne, who prides herself on her roast chicken suggested, “Roast the chicken in a deep roasting tin with shallots, unpeeled garlic cloves, carrots and a BIG glass of Della Vite for sweetness!”
FUND’S FOOL-PROOF, ONE-POT ROAST CHICKEN
- Roast chicken (organic, free-range preferred – we like Piper’s Farm)
- 2 fennel bulbs
- New potatoes
- Handful of bay leaves
- 2 lemons
- Herbs – thyme, rosemary – whatever you have!
- Remove your chicken from the fridge two hours before cooking and salt the outside and inside
- Add herbs to the cavity with three smashed garlic cloves and a wedge of lemon (or whole a la Jasmine Hemsley)
- Chop your new potatoes into large chunks and add to a cast-iron pot
- Chop your fennel bulbs into even chunks and add to the cast-iron pot
- Chop your lemon into even chunks and add to the cast-iron pot
- Add a handful of bay leaves to the pot with a generous sprinkle of salt, fresh cracked black pepper, a tbsp of oregano and large drizzle of olive oil
- Mix everything together in the pot with your hands to ensure it’s all combined
- Add your chicken on top and smear your chicken with a large handful of butter to lock-in moisture, and sprinkle with some thyme and pepper
- Head your oven to 220°C degrees and cook for 25 minutes
- Check the chicken is starting to go brown, if so lower your oven temp to 180°C, if not leave it on for another 5 minutes before turning temperature down
- Take out your pot and add a generous helping of white wine
- Put your chicken back in the oven at 180°C and cook for another 40 minutes
- Turn the oven off and leave the chicken to rest in the oven with the door on for another 15 minutes