Roast Chicken

Friday, 5 April 2013

A few days ago my boyfriend and I decided to make a roast together when I visited him in Leeds. My long weekend getaway finally came around and I arrived in Leeds on Wednesday, excited to make our roast the next day. Now I'm a dedicated roast fan. I fail to tuck into a meat and gravy feast every Sunday at uni because all the ingredients can be quite costly. When I'm at home however, it's a whole different story because it's pretty much set in stone that my family and I will have one each and every Sunday, and thank god, because mumma Cottrell makes a cracking roast.

Luckily my boyfriend had already pre bought the ingredients, so we didn't have to go on a tedious walk around Morrisons in an attempt to mountain them all into the trolley, only to lug it all back on a 15 minute walk with the rain lashing down on our tiresome bodies. Okay so it's not actually as bad as it sounds, I quite enjoy food shopping but Ciaran is definitely big and strong enough to do it all by himself and have it ready and waiting for me. Lovely boy.

We did have to venture out and grab some potatoes, an onion and some Yorkshire puds yesterday daytime, but he did pretty well remembering all the other stuff. I'd never made a whole chicken before, so after a brief phonecall to my dad (who by the way, is a brilliant cook), we were good to go. We suffered a minor set back because Ciaran's housemates were using the oven when we wanted to start cooking, so we turned to snacking on mini eggs and malteaster bunnies...oops!

A stomach full of chocolate and a good half an hour or so later, we began prepping our feast, and this is how it panned out.

1 whole free range chicken (ours was 1.3kg which will serve 3-4 people)
1 red onion (can use white if that's all you have)
Sunflower oil (but you can use any oil)
Chicken seasoning
Aunt Bessie's Roasties
Aunt Bessie's Yorkshire puddings
Frozen mixed vegetables
Paxo sage and onion stuffind
Bisto gravy granules


1) Take the chicken out of the fridge and let it sit for around 30 minutes

2) Preheat your oven for 10-15 minutes on gas mark 6

3) Cut the onion in half, peel the top few layers and place up the chicken's behind - my immature side definitely came out during this stage, and I kindly let Ciaran do the honours

4) Drizzle the oil over the top of the chicken, sprinkle the chicken seasoning, salt and pepper over and rub in with your hands to make sure the whole chicken is covered

5) Cover the chicken in tin foil and pop in the oven for an hour

6) Okay, so we cheated by using roasties. I'm sorry. Next time I promise to make the potatoes from scratch, but if you do happen to be feeling lazy (like us), then roasties are the perfect tasty alternative. Once the chicken has been in for an hour, pop the potatoes in the oven for half an hour and remove the foil from the chicken

7) By this point the smell of the chicken should be amazing and you should be getting hungrier by the second. While the chicken cooks for another half an hour peel your carrots (or whatever veg you want) and boil for the remaining 20-25 minutes

8) The great thing about frozen veg is that you can whack it on the hob 5 minutes before you're ready to serve and it boils away to perfection. Stick the Yorkshire's in as well and they'll be ready at the same time

9) If you don't have room, or time to cook the stuffing for half an hour, mix it up and place it in the microwave for 2 minutes, it may be crispier oven cooked, but microwaving is perfect if you forget about it (like we did)

10) The chicken should have had a full hour and a half cooking time and should look a lovely golden brown colour with delicious smelling juices lining the tray it's been cooked on

11) If you're making this with someone, then one of you can slice up the chicken while the other makes the perfect gravy. You know the drill - a few spoons of gravy granules and some hot water, stir continuously to remove any lumps

12) Now all the veg is drained, the potatoes are free from the oven and everything else is ready, dish up and enjoy

If you want to add a little bit of fun to your cooking process then make sure you name your chicken. We named ours Charlie and we were delighted to keep track of his progress. Charlie it was nice to meet you, but you were too delicious not to eat.

Overall prep and cooking time is around 2 hours, and probably devoured within 2 minutes, but it is definitely worth the wait if you want a nice home cooked hearty meal.

Try it - you won't regret it.

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