Casserole Roast Chicken

Roast chicken with roast potatoes, stuffing and gravy is without doubt one of the most popular dinners in our house. Cooking roast chicken used to freak me out a bit, I don’t know why but I always thought of it as a complicated dinner. Then I came across this simple and foolproof one-pot method which absolutely rocks. I discovered it when I was in Ballymaloe House (on a 2-day course which I was so lucky to win as a prize!) a few years ago. So no roasting tray, racks, cooking bags etc – it just cooks in the one pot in which all the juices collect and from which you can make your gravy.  So no need to fear cooking roast chicken any more – if you haven’t done it before give this a try and you won’t look back.  

Serves 4-6 people

Preparation Time: 10 mins Cooking Time: 90 mins

Ingredients

1 chicken approx 1.6 – 1.8kg / 2kg
1 whole bulb of garlic (split in half)
Butter 10g (softened)
Few sprigs of thyme
2 carrots (cut into chunks)

Equipment
Note – a casserole with a tight fitting lid is essential for the success of this recipe(I use a Le Creuset Oval casserole dish which is perfect). You will also need a sheet of greaseproof paper.

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F Gas Mark 4
  • Heat the casserole on a gentle heat.
  • Pat the chicken dry using kitchen paper
  • Smear the softened butter over the breast and legs of the chicken
  • Place the chicken breast side down into the heated casserole
  • Allow the chicken to get golden brown (this may mean manoeuvring the chicken from side to side with a tongs )
  • Make sure the casserole doesn’t get so hot that the butter starts to burn
  • Turn the chicken breast side up when nicely browned
  • Add the garlic halves and the carrots
  • Cover the casserole with a sheet of greaseproof paper and a tight fitting lid
  • Place in the oven for 90 mins
  • Remove the casserole from the oven and check that the chicken is fully cooked*
  • Remove the cooked chicken from the casserole and keep warm in the oven or wrapped in tinfoil
  • Strain the cooking juices into a separator jug and use to make gravy

*Insert a metal skewer in between the leg and the breast of the chicken and extract some juice. If the juice is clear the chicken is cooked,- if it is cloudy or pink the chicken is not fully cooked and should be put back in the oven to cook for a further 10/15 minutes at which stage the test should be repeated.

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