It’s nice to experiment sometimes with what you can add to a whole roast chicken to spice things up a bit (for example Paula Wolfert’s Stuffed Chicken). However, sometimes all you want is a simple recipe to show off the meat in it’s purest form. Timing varies for every bird depending on size, but these few pointers should help you to nail the cook every time.
Add to your Roast:
- Rosemary/Thyme/Sage/Bay Leaves
- Preheat your oven to 180c.
- Don’t wash your chicken! Raw chicken contains a bacteria called Campylobacter that can be splashed around. Campylobacter is killed when chicken is cooked to the correct temperature.
- Place your Chicken into a roasting tin and rub the outer skin with softened butter. If you’re looking to avoid butter, substitute it for Olive Oil.
- Season the chicken with a little salt and pepper.
- At this point the chicken is good to go, but if you wish to add some extra flavour then let the cavity act as your ‘flavour-cave’. Crushed garlic, a bunch of your favourite herb, halved lemons, can all go straight into the cavity and will give off amazing flavour without burning as they might if they were on the outside of the Chicken.
- When your happy with your flavour-cave, the chicken can go into the oven. The general rule is 45 minutes per kg + 20 minutes extra.
- e.g. (1.8 x 45) + 20 = 1.8 kg Chicken. 81 + 20 = 141 minutes total
- e.g. (2.2 x 45) + 20 = 2.2 kg Chicken. 99 + 20 = 119 minutes total
- When you’re at the stage of having 20 minutes remaining, check how browned the chicken is on the outside. If it’s still a little pale leave it how it is, if it’s crisping quite quickly, cover the whole chicken with tin foil for these final 20 minutes.
- The best method to check whether the meat is cooked is to pierce the thickest part of the thigh and check that the juices coming out run clear. Alternatively you can use a meat thermometer.
- If you’re happy with the cook, remove the chicken from the oven, transfer the chicken to another plate/board (the roasting tin will stay hot and keep cooking the meat), and cover it loosely with kitchen foil to rest for at least 20 minutes or so.
- If the juices are not clear, the chicken may need more time cooking. If the skin is getting too crisp cover the bird with kitchen foil. Time yourself another 10 minutes and check again, keep going until the juices are clear.