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
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)
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.