roast chicken recipe
roast chicken recipe

Best Roast Chicken

  

July 6, 2012

We love a roast chicken and this recipe is makes for a delicious meal. There are a fair few ingredients listed here but we just tend to use what we have in the fridge and store cupboard rather than getting things in especially.

We always buy a free range chicken to roast, if there are no free range available we won't buy one. Our reasons are not just because of the better flavour, but because of the treatment and conditions non free range chickens are subjected to.

There are strong and valid arguments from people saying they can't afford a free range however if you use all of the bird you can get 2 - 3 meals out of it, making it good value.

To offset the slightly greater cost we make sure we get the most out of the chicken. After the meal is finished we strip the rest of the meat off and save for another meal such as a chicken stir fry, chicken pie, chicken sandwiches for school lunch boxes - you name it...

We also always make a chicken stock with the carcass which we then freeze and use to make lots of meals including proper gravy, soups and butternut squash risotto. Home made chicken stock is fantastic and much much tastier than stock cubes. We've always got some in the freezer, ready for whenever we need it.

  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 1 hr 20 mins
  • 10 mins

    1 hr 20 mins

    1 hr 30 mins

  • Yields: 2 - 3 meals
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Ingredients

1 free range or organic chicken weighing about 1.6kg

Selection of fresh herbs - thyme, lemon thyme, parsley, oregano, bay - whatever you have available

Salt and pepper

Olive or rapeseed oil

5 or 6 cloves of garlic in their skins

1 or 2 onions quartered

A lemon quartered

A few carrots - sliced down the middle and halved

Directions

Pre-heat the oven to 220-230C

Season the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper and place inside two onion quarters, 2 or 3 garlic cloves, two lemon quarters and some of the fresh herbs. Of course you don't have to do any of this, we like it and find it adds a great flavour to the meat. It also helps make a fantastic gravy afterwards

Place the rest of the onion, a few carrots, more herbs, some garlic cloves and the other half of the lemon in the middle of the roasting tin and place the chicken on the top

Sprinkle the oil on the top of the bird, sprinkle with salt and pepper and rub in well

If you want you could sprinkle over a little dried oregano too if you have some

Place in the oven and turn it down to 200C.

Cook the chicken for about 1 hour 20 minutes at which time, take it out of the oven and stick a skewer in one of the thighs to make sure it is cooked properly. If the juice runs clear then it is, if the juice is pink return the chicken to the oven and cook for longer until cooked thoroughly

Put the chicken on a carving board, or similar, and leave loosely covered in foil for 10 to 15 minutes removing the stuffing back in the roasting tin

During this time make some proper, real gravy using our recipe

Serve with roast potatoes (or chips) and vegetables

Other than teaching them about about using meat that has been given a good life, the children can help by collecting the herbs from the garden (or fridge) and preparing the chicken for the oven. This is a good opportunity to teach them about kitchen hygiene and how important it is to wash your hands throughly after handling raw chicken. Obviously we take over for the oven part, though older children can do this under supervision too.

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