You can’t beat roast chicken for Sunday lunch or to treat the family, and if you follow my recipe you’ll have perfect results every time. I like to stuff my chicken with a mixture based on good-quality sausage meat before cooking it, as this helps to keep the bird moist. Or you can just put a small lemon and a few sprigs of herbs in the cavity for a fresh flavour: rosemary, thyme, parsley and tarragon are all good. If you roast your potatoes in the same tin under the bird, the chicken fat gives them a wonderful flavour.
Roast chicken with pork stuffing
If you have a favourite sausage, you can always use it as a substitute for the ones used in the stuffing below
Serves 4, plus leftovers
Ready in 3 hours
1 shallot, finely chopped
4 Extra Special Pork and Leek Sausages, skins removed
25g pack fresh thyme
25g fresh white breadcrumbs
1tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 Large Chicken (2.2kg)
750g King Edward or Maris Piper potatoes, peeled
2tbsp olive oil
Gravy, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Melt the butter in a pan and cook the shallot over a low heat until soft. Transfer to a bowl and cool. Add the sausage meat. Remove the leaves from 1 sprig of thyme, chop and add to the bowl. Add the breadcrumbs and parsley. Season well.
- Put the whole chicken on a board and push the stuffing into the cavity.
- Cut the potatoes into large, even-sized chunks and arrange in a large roasting tin. Put a rack on top.
- Sit the chicken on the rack, rub the skin with olive oil and season. Cook for 2 hours 15 minutes, basting occasionally. Halfway through cooking, turn the potatoes over and move them around in the tin.
- Transfer the bird to a plate, cover loosely with foil and rest in a warm place for 15 minutes before carving.
- Increase the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7 and return the potatoes to the oven, this time without the rack, for 5-10 minutes or until crisp.
- Carve the chicken. Heat the gravy and serve with the chicken, roast potatoes, sprinkled with thyme, and peas
This recipe transforms basic frozen peas into a delicious French dish by adding just a few extra ingredients. A perfect accompaniment to roast chicken
Put 350g frozen peas, 4 trimmed and sliced spring onions, 1 sliced Little Gem lettuce, 25g butter and 4 chopped fresh mint leaves in a pan with 150ml water. Cover the pan with a lid and heat until simmering. Continue to simmer the peas for 10 minutes. Serve immediately. Serves 4
Great cooking tips:-
If your chicken is a different weight from the one used in my recipe, or if you cook it without stuffing, calculate the cooking time at 20-25 minutes per 500g, plus an extra 20 minutes, at 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.
When you stuff the chicken, calculate the cooking time on the weight of the chicken when stuffed.
What’s all the truss about?
Trussing is tying the legs together with kitchen string to help keep the bird’s shape during cooking for a neat, professional finish.
I like to brush the skin all over with olive oil before cooking, to help the skin crisp and brown. Or you can use melted butter mixed with olive oil. I don’t cover the bird with foil, and I baste it every 40 minutes as it cooks.
Is it cooked?
To test it, pierce the thickest part of the thigh with a skewer. If the juices run clear, it’s cooked. If the juices are pink, return the chicken to the oven for another 15 minutes or until the juices run clear.
Put the chicken on a plate and cover loosely with foil. Rest in a warm (not hot) place for 15-20 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute evenly throughout the meat, keeping it succulent.
How to carve a chicken
Use a sharp knife and a fork to keep the meat still
1. Put the knife between the leg and the body and cut off the leg and thigh in one piece, then cut off the wing.
2. Slice one of the breasts. Turn the chicken round and repeat on the other side.
3. Cut each leg in half to separate the drumstick from the thigh