How to roast chicken
Roast chicken is one of the country’s most popular dishes, and for good reason. It makes a good value roast dinner, plus can easily be adapted throughout the seasons – served with gravy and all the trimmings during the colder months or warm with salad, potato salad or crunchy bread on sunny days. It’s also a practical choice for a family or those on a budget as it can be adapted into many meals; first the roast, then a pie or curry with the leftover meat and finally the bones simmered for a cheap and comforting soup during the week. These tips can help you cook a gloriously golden roast chicken every time.
A small chicken should serve 2–3 people, a medium chicken 3–4 and a large 4–6. Don’t forget that any leftover roast chicken can be used in other recipes, such as our chicken pot pie, Vietnamese noodle salad or nasi goreng.
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC/180ºC fan/gas mark 6. To prep the chicken, discard the packaging and nestle it in a deep roasting tray. Rub the bird with softened butter or drizzle over a good splash of oil, then season it well with salt and pepper.
- Your chicken will taste delicious with just simple seasoning, but if you like you can add extra herbs and flavours. Stuff the neck of the bird with crushed whole garlic cloves, fresh herbs or lemon halves.
- If you’d like to cook stuffing with your bird lift up the flap of skin at the neck end to loosen it and push the stuffing inside. Fold the skin over the gap and keep it closed with a cocktail stick. Remember to wash your hands carefully after touching the chicken.
- How long to roast your chicken for depends on its weight. You can calculate the right cooking time by allowing 45 minutes per kilo plus an additional 20 minutes – for example, a 1.6kg chicken should be cooked for 90 minutes. Regardless of cooking time, always check that the juices are running clear and no pink colour remains before removing your bird from the oven.
- Once it is cooked through, transfer the chicken to a plate (you can save the juices from the pan for gravy, if you like) and cover in foil. Leave it to rest for 20 minutes before carving.