One Chicken, Three Meals – # 1 A Simple Roast Chicken

I love Sunday Roasts..they are a fixture in our family. And nothing is more quintessentially English than a Sunday Roast right?! Sunday is that one day a week that draws us all together and what better way to enjoy it than with a delicious traditional roast. From the days of my youth, when we would be back in the UK for a couple of months every year over the summer holidays and go round my Nanny & Grandad’s house, greeted with teasing chimes of ‘Not today thank you!’ through the letter box upon arrival, to today when we pop round next door to my parents home and help prepare it, I rarely have a Sunday pass without a roast.

Despite being a meal of meat and veg, I find it so versatile and we mix it up every week. We always make sure to rotate the pièce de résistance! Belly pork has got to be my absolute favourite but we make sure to incorporate it all..lamb, beef, chicken, pork, duck, goose..varying joints from week to week and often turning them into more than one meal. Waste not want not. I love the traditional way of cooking and try to use the knowledge picked up from my Mum and Nan. Besides, everyone needs to have a decent chicken recipe under their belt! And one that is so EASY..there’s no excuses!

Enjoy as part of a roast dinner with vichy carrots, stuffing and glorious roast potatoes if you’re seeking indulgence. Have it with a salad and buttered new potatoes during the warmer months when the thought of rich, comfort food is just too much to bear. Or, as we enjoyed a top the Montjuïc Castle in Barcelona, enjoy it with crispy French fries to mop up all the juices. One of my favourites!

Today will be a Sunday roast of Chicken, the bones will be made into a stock and used to prepare a soup and the remaining meat will be used to create a pie.

You will need:

1 chicken – the best you can afford, you will taste the difference!

40g salted butter

1 head of garlic

fresh herbs of choice

salt & pepper

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Gather your herbs of choice, whatever you want is fine! I have a little herb garden I planted when I first moved into our new home a few months ago and there is always something that needs cutting back so I use whatever needs chopping! Cooking goodies and gardening rolled into one, win! This time it was some thyme, rosemary, marjoram and oregano. Just grab a big handful. Then chop your head of garlic in half, horizontally.
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Stuff the whole lot inside the chicken. Butter, herbs and garlic.

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Place the chicken into a roasting tin, not much bigger than the bird itself and pour in a cup of water to the bottom of the tin. Then cover it with tin foil and seal tightly. Place this in an oven at 130C/285F and leave for 2.5-3 hours to slowly cook away. It isn’t vital how long you leave the chicken in the oven for, if you want to leave it in longer then just turn the oven down a bit. That is the beauty of slow cooking. There is no fixed time schedule. Especially in a tightly sealed environment where the meat essentially self bastes and will be NOTHING other than juicy, tender and falling apart!

When you’re about 40 minutes away from dinner time, take the chicken out the oven, remove the foil and drain the cooking liquid into a jug and set aside (use this to make uber tasty gravy later!). Use a spoon to skim off the fat from the liquid and pour over the chicken, then sprinkle a little salt and freshly ground black pepper over. Place your bird back in the oven at 220C/430F for 20-25 minutes until the skin has turned golden and crisp. You don’t need to worry about the meat drying out at this point, trust me, it will be so tender the bones will literally slide out! Remove and set aside somewhere warm to rest until you’re ready to tuck in!!

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Best bit of all??! Chefs perk is the crispy chicken skin..mmm yes please!!

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