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How to Roast the Perfect Chicken


Being able to roast a chicken is a basic kitchen skill that everyone should know. Not only does it mean you can cook a great family meal, but it also opens up so many opportunities for leftover recipes for the next day.



1 onion, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
1 Fennel bulb, roughly chopped
1 free range chicken, about 1.5kg/3lb 5oz

1 lemon, halved
Small bunch thyme and rosemary 

25g butter, softened
Salt and pepper


For the gravy


1 tbsp plain flour
 250ml chicken stock


Here’s how:


Heat oven to 170C/gas 5.

Scatter the roughly chopped onion, fennel and carrots over the base of a roasting tin that fits the whole 1 1⁄2 kg chicken, but doesn’t swamp it.

Season the chicken inside the cavity with plenty of salt and pepper, then stuff with 2 lemon halves and a small bunch of thyme and rosemary.
Sit the chicken on the vegetables. Smother the breast and legs all over with 25g softened butter, then season the outside with salt and pepper.

Place in the oven and cook for 1 hr 30 minutes. This will give you a perfectly roasted chicken.
To check that it’s cooked thoroughly, pierce the thigh with a skewer and the juices should run clear or use a digital thermometer pushed in between the breast and thigh to record a temperature of 75c.

Carefully remove the tin from the oven and, using a pair of tongs, lift the chicken to a dish or board to rest for 15 mins. As you lift the dish, let any juices from the chicken pour out of the cavity into the roasting tin.

While the chicken is resting, make the gravy. Place the roasting tin over a low flame. Stir in 1 tbsp flour and allow to bubble until you have a light brown, sandy paste.
Gradually pour in 250ml chicken stock, stirring all the time, until you have a thickened sauce.

Try serving this dish with a nice Chien Blanc white wine


Recipe by Peter Sidwell

How To Cook the Perfect Roast Chicken

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