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Awesome Roast Chicken Recipes

Updated on October 18, 2015
Roast chicken and assorted root vegetables
Roast chicken and assorted root vegetables

Perfect Roast Chicken Means a Lot More than Simply Chicken Cooked in the Oven

Roast chicken is a huge favourite of millions of people around the world. From the point where its delicious, roasting in the oven smell permeates the kitchen and even the remainder of the home, to the point where it is served succulent and juicy on a plate, roast chicken should represent one of the ultimate comfort foods. This page is devoted to looking at different ways in which it is possible to roast a chicken to nigh on perfection, as well as some tasty serving suggestions.

The Right Tools for the Job - A Good Roasting Tray

Chicago Metallic Professional Non-Stick Roast Pan with Non-Stick Rack, 13-Inch-by-9-Inch
Chicago Metallic Professional Non-Stick Roast Pan with Non-Stick Rack, 13-Inch-by-9-Inch

Whichever method of roasting a chicken in the oven you choose to employ, a good roasting tray is essential. If cared for properly, this quality tray will last for many years and chicken roastings, providing excellent, long term value for money.

 

How to Prepare a Chicken for Roasting

Chicken is trussed for packaging purposes only
Chicken is trussed for packaging purposes only

When you buy a prepared, fresh chicken, it will very often be trussed with string, or even elasticated string. It is imperative that you remove this before cooking. When you roast a chicken which has been trussed in any way, you are increasing the risk of the chicken coming out of the oven under-cooked and further cooking time being required. This is because the thigh is forced unnecessarily tightly against the main body of the bird, preventing even cooking. Instead, pull the thigh slightly away from the body of the bird, gently so as not to break the skin.

A chicken should be washed before being roasted under running cold water and patted carefully dry with kitchen paper. At this stage, you should check also that the giblets are not contained in a sealed package in the cavity of the chicken. If so, they must be removed and either discarded or used for an alternative purpose such as making stock.

Spatchcock Chicken on Root Vegetables and Fresh Rosemary

Chicken with its backbone removed roasted on root vegetables
Chicken with its backbone removed roasted on root vegetables

This is a particularly unorthodox way of roasting a chicken, as the backbone is removed from the bird before it is cooked. The chicken is then opened out and laid on a bed of root vegetables and rosemary.

The photographs immediately below relate to the various stages of roasting a chicken in this way, with the full recipe in text thereafter.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Vegetables for roasting chickenPrepared vegetables for chickenThumb is pressing on the backbone of the chickenChicken with backbone removedChicken and vegetables ready for the ovenVegetables added to food flaskVegetables are kept warm in the food flask while the chicken restsWings and leg portions pull easily from the cooked chickenThe breast portions are cleaved off the chickenRoast chicken portions ready for service
Vegetables for roasting chicken
Vegetables for roasting chicken
Prepared vegetables for chicken
Prepared vegetables for chicken
Thumb is pressing on the backbone of the chicken
Thumb is pressing on the backbone of the chicken
Chicken with backbone removed
Chicken with backbone removed
Chicken and vegetables ready for the oven
Chicken and vegetables ready for the oven
Vegetables added to food flask
Vegetables added to food flask
Vegetables are kept warm in the food flask while the chicken rests
Vegetables are kept warm in the food flask while the chicken rests
Wings and leg portions pull easily from the cooked chicken
Wings and leg portions pull easily from the cooked chicken
The breast portions are cleaved off the chicken
The breast portions are cleaved off the chicken
Roast chicken portions ready for service
Roast chicken portions ready for service
Roast Chicken Leg and Breast Portions with Roasted Root Vegetables
Roast Chicken Leg and Breast Portions with Roasted Root Vegetables
  • Prep time: 15 min
  • Cook time: 1 hour 45 min
  • Ready in: 2 hours
  • Yields: Two

Ingredients

  • 4 lb chicken
  • 2 large starchy potatoes
  • 1 large parsnip
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 large red onion
  • 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • Sea salt and white pepper
  • Olive oil

Instructions

  1. Begin by putting your oven on to preheat to 400F/200C.
  2. Peel all the vegetables. Quarter the red onion and roughly chop the carrot, potatoes and parsnip. Do not chop too small or they will be spoiled during cooking. Lay them in the base of your roasting tray. Season with plenty of salt and white pepper. The rosemary sprigs should simply be placed on top before a generous drizzle of olive oil is applied.
  3. Sit the chicken broad end down on a large chopping board, breasts facing away from you. You will be able to feel the backbone, about an inch in width, running down the centre of the bird from top to bottom. Hold the chicken steady with one hand and cut down either side of the bone with your cleaver. Pull it free and set it aside, perhaps for use in making stock. Open the chicken up and season the inside before spreading it on the vegetables, flesh side up. Drizzle with more olive oil and rub it in to the skin with your hands, paying particular attention to the breasts and thighs. Season with salt only.
  4. Place the roasting tray in to the oven for one hour and fifteen minutes. Remove the tray and use a skewer to pierce the thickest parts of the breast and thighs to ensure the juices run clear and that no trace of red or pink remains. Lift the chicken to a large platter and leave uncovered to rest for a minimum of twenty minutes.
  5. The problem of how to keep the vegetables warm without further cooking is easily solved by using a food flask. Simply heat the flask by swirling some boiling water in it. Pour out the water, quickly dry with kitchen paper and put the vegetables in with a slotted spoon, discarding the rosemary. The flask will easily keep the vegetables piping hot, for anything up to several hours.
  6. Chickens are often traditionally carved like turkeys. Instead, why not simply chop the chicken in to portions for service? The results are infinitely better, with less waste and much more juice and flavour being retained.
  7. The wings and leg portions should easily pull free, with a little twist to pop the bones from their sockets. If desired, the joint between the leg and thigh can be chopped with the cleaver. The breast fillets should be very carefully sliced free, one at a time, by making careful, repeated slits, in one direction only, either side of the breast bone and following the bone down as you cut.
  8. Arrange some vegetables on the serving places, add chicken as required alongside and serve.

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Sage, Onion and Celery Roast Chicken

Sage, Onion and Celery Roast Chicken
Sage, Onion and Celery Roast Chicken

This chicken is roasted whole. Its cavity is stuffed with fresh sage and onion (perhaps more associated as a breadcrumb based stuffing for turkey) as well as some celery. To further extend the turkey analogy, it is served with a little cranberry sauce.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Sage, onion and celery for stuffing chickenSage, onion and celery are prepared for stuffingBacon protects the chicken in the initial stages of roastingBacon crisps up during cookingBacon is removed for final twenty minutes of cookingRoast chicken is cooked and ready to be restedSkin is peeled from the potatoes for roastingBrussels sprouts are added to a pot with salted, boiling waterChicken portions are removed to a serving platterChicken fat roasted potatoes are drained on kitchen paper before being plated
Sage, onion and celery for stuffing chicken
Sage, onion and celery for stuffing chicken
Sage, onion and celery are prepared for stuffing
Sage, onion and celery are prepared for stuffing
Bacon protects the chicken in the initial stages of roasting
Bacon protects the chicken in the initial stages of roasting
Bacon crisps up during cooking
Bacon crisps up during cooking
Bacon is removed for final twenty minutes of cooking
Bacon is removed for final twenty minutes of cooking
Roast chicken is cooked and ready to be rested
Roast chicken is cooked and ready to be rested
Skin is peeled from the potatoes for roasting
Skin is peeled from the potatoes for roasting
Brussels sprouts are added to a pot with salted, boiling water
Brussels sprouts are added to a pot with salted, boiling water
Chicken portions are removed to a serving platter
Chicken portions are removed to a serving platter
Chicken fat roasted potatoes are drained on kitchen paper before being plated
Chicken fat roasted potatoes are drained on kitchen paper before being plated
Sage and Onion Roast Chicken with Roast Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts
Sage and Onion Roast Chicken with Roast Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts
  • Prep time: 15 min
  • Cook time: 1 hour 45 min
  • Ready in: 2 hours
  • Yields: Two

Ingredients

  • 1 small chicken
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 1 stick of celery
  • Small bunch of fresh sage
  • 4 rashers of bacon
  • Small baby new potatoes (quantity as desired)
  • Brussels sprouts (quantity as desired)
  • Sea salt and white pepper
  • Whole berry cranberry sauce

Instructions

  1. Put your oven on to preheat to 400F/200C.
  2. Weigh your chicken to calculate the cooking time. It should be cooked for twenty minutes per pound and twenty minutes extra.
  3. Peel and chop the onion. Chop the celery and roughly tear the sage. Season the cavity of the chicken well with salt and white pepper before stuffing with the vegetables and herb. Do not press the stuffing in too tightly, as this can adversely affect the cooking process. Lay the chicken on your roasting tray and place the bacon rashers on top, particularly to cover and protect the breasts and thighs. Place the roasting tray in the oven.
  4. Wash the potatoes and add them (unpeeled) to a large pot of cold, salted water. Bring the water to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer for thirty minutes. Drain the potatoes, return them to the empty pot and cover to cool.
  5. When the chicken has twenty minutes' cooking time remaining, remove it from the oven and carefully peel off the bacon. The bacon can be retained to be served with the chicken - or enjoyed as a cook's privilege... Return the chicken to the oven for the remainder of the cooking time to crisp up the skin.
  6. Remove the chicken from the oven and test to ensure it is fully cooked. Transfer it to a platter to rest.
  7. The skin should peel from the potatoes very easily by hand. Once skinned, add the potatoes to the hot chicken fat and gently swirl them around to evenly coat. Return the tray to the oven for fifteen minutes, turning the temperature up to 425F/220C.
  8. Wash the Brussels sprouts and remove any loose or dead leaves. Add them to a pot, season with a little salt and pour in enough boiling water to cover. Simmer for twelve to fifteen minutes, before draining through a colander.
  9. Pull the leg portions and wings from the chicken before removing the breast fillets as described in the recipe above. Take the potatoes out the oven and transfer them to a plate covered with kitchen paper to drain. Plate the chicken, potatoes and sprouts with a little cranberry sauce and serve.

Citrus Fruit and Thyme Roast Chicken

Citrus Fruit and Thyme Roast Chicken
Citrus Fruit and Thyme Roast Chicken

Oranges and lemons are both very popular flavourants for chicken. Note in this instance that the orange (small clementine) and lemon are firstly simmered in boiling water for ten minutes before being pierced and used to stuff the chicken. This allows their delicious juices to steam out and begin flavouring the chicken from the very outset of the roasting process.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Lemon and orange are heated in boiling waterDried thyme and whole garlic clovesCitrus fruits, thyme and garlic are stuffed in to the chickenStuffed chicken ready to be roastedPotatoes are initially added to cold waterCitrus fruit and thyme roast chicken removed from the ovenBroccoli is broken in to florets to be boiledDill herb butterHerb butter is added to the drained potatoesCitrus fruit and thyme roast chicken ready to serve
Lemon and orange are heated in boiling water
Lemon and orange are heated in boiling water
Dried thyme and whole garlic cloves
Dried thyme and whole garlic cloves
Citrus fruits, thyme and garlic are stuffed in to the chicken
Citrus fruits, thyme and garlic are stuffed in to the chicken
Stuffed chicken ready to be roasted
Stuffed chicken ready to be roasted
Potatoes are initially added to cold water
Potatoes are initially added to cold water
Citrus fruit and thyme roast chicken removed from the oven
Citrus fruit and thyme roast chicken removed from the oven
Broccoli is broken in to florets to be boiled
Broccoli is broken in to florets to be boiled
Dill herb butter
Dill herb butter
Herb butter is added to the drained potatoes
Herb butter is added to the drained potatoes
Citrus fruit and thyme roast chicken ready to serve
Citrus fruit and thyme roast chicken ready to serve
Citrus Fruit and Thyme Roast Chicken with New Potatoes and Broccoli
Citrus Fruit and Thyme Roast Chicken with New Potatoes and Broccoli
  • Prep time: 30 min
  • Cook time: 1 hour 30 min
  • Ready in: 2 hours
  • Yields: Two

Ingredients

  • 1 4 lb chicken
  • 1 fresh lemon
  • 1 small orange (clementine or tangerine work well)
  • 4 cloves of garlic (whole and unpeeled)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Salt and white pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Baby new potatoes (quantity as desired)
  • 1 medium head of broccoli
  • Dill herb butter

Instructions

  1. Put your oven on to preheat to 400F/200C.
  2. Bring a small pot of water to a rolling boil and carefully add the orange and lemon. Reduce the heat to achieve a moderate simmer for ten minutes.
  3. Wash and pat dry the chicken before laying it on your roasting tray. Season the cavity with salt and pepper and add half the thyme and two of the garlic cloves. Drain the orange and lemon and - covering them with a cloth to prevent spurting - pierce each several times with a fork to allow the juices to escape. Use the fork to push the lemon as far in to the chicken cavity as it will reasonably go. Add the remaining thyme and garlic cloves. Use the fork to push the orange in to the chicken's cavity.
  4. Rub the top of the chicken with olive oil and season with plenty of salt. Put it in to the oven for twenty minutes per pound and twenty minutes over.
  5. Wash the new potatoes and add them to a pot of cold, salted water. Put them on to a high heat just before the chicken is due to come out of the oven. When the water boils, reduce the heat and simmer for thirty minutes until softened, while the chicken rests.
  6. Remove the chicken from the oven and test to ensure the juices run clear. Transfer to a large plate or platter to rest.
  7. The broccoli should be broken in to florets and added to a pot of boiling, salted water, for eight to ten minutes.
  8. Drain your potatoes and return them to the empty pot. You can add some ordinary butter and separate dill at this point but herb butter - where the herb flavours are already infused - does add something a little extra to the taste. Swirl the pot gently to evenly coat all the potatoes and serve with the drained broccoli and chicken portions as desired.

Roast Chicken Quarters and Root Vegetables

Roast chicken quarters and root vegetables
Roast chicken quarters and root vegetables

This recipe is similar to the one featured earlier where the backbone was removed from the chicken before it was roasted on top of root vegetables. Here, however, the process is taken a stage further and the chicken is chopped in to individual portions before it is roasted.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Backbone is removed from the chickenLeg and thigh portions removed from the chickenChicken crown is halved from undersideChicken breast and wing portionsChicken quarters ready for roastingVegetables and fruit for chicken roasting bedChopped vegetables are laid on roasting trayLemon and garlic cloves are added to vegetablesRosemary sprigs and chicken quarters are laid on top of vegetablesRoasted chicken quarters are covered and left to rest
Backbone is removed from the chicken
Backbone is removed from the chicken
Leg and thigh portions removed from the chicken
Leg and thigh portions removed from the chicken
Chicken crown is halved from underside
Chicken crown is halved from underside
Chicken breast and wing portions
Chicken breast and wing portions
Chicken quarters ready for roasting
Chicken quarters ready for roasting
Vegetables and fruit for chicken roasting bed
Vegetables and fruit for chicken roasting bed
Chopped vegetables are laid on roasting tray
Chopped vegetables are laid on roasting tray
Lemon and garlic cloves are added to vegetables
Lemon and garlic cloves are added to vegetables
Rosemary sprigs and chicken quarters are laid on top of vegetables
Rosemary sprigs and chicken quarters are laid on top of vegetables
Roasted chicken quarters are covered and left to rest
Roasted chicken quarters are covered and left to rest
Roast Chicken and Root Vegetables
Roast Chicken and Root Vegetables
  • Prep time: 45 min
  • Cook time: 1 hour 15 min
  • Ready in: 2 hours
  • Yields: Four

Ingredients

  • 4 lb chicken
  • 1 large parsnip
  • 1 small Swede turnip/rutabaga
  • 12 baby new potatoes
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 1 large lemon
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Sweetcorn or other accompanying veg of choice
  • Chopped coriander/cilantro as an optional garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400F/200C.
  2. Peel and very roughly chop the Swede/rutabaga, parsnip, carrots and onion. Mix together and lay on the base of a large roasting tray. Quarter the lemon lengthwise and place in the roasting tray in a way that each quarter will serve as the immediate bed for a piece of chicken. Drizzle the vegetables liberally with olive oil and season well with sea salt and black pepper. Roughly break the rosemary sprigs and scatter evenly.
  3. The chicken preparation begins in the same way as the first recipe on this page by sitting it up on its broad end, breasts facing away from you, and cutting down either side of the backbone to remove. Cut through the skin between the leg/thigh portions and the main body and pull the bone out and backwards to pop the joint and remove the pieces. Turn the chicken crown breast sides down and chop in half with your cleaver.
  4. Lay the pieces of chicken on top of the vegetables, skin side up. Drizzle with more olive oil and rub in to the skin. Season with sea salt only. Put the tray in to the oven for one and a quarter to one and a half hours, until the skin is crisp and golden and the chicken juices run clear.
  5. Cover the tray with foil and rest for fifteen minutes or remove the chicken to a separate dish to rest and the vegetables to a food flask as before.
  6. Serve one portion of chicken per person with a large spoonful of vegetables and sweetcorn or other side of choice. Garnish with the coriander/cilantro if desired.

Thank you for visiting this page and hopefully you have found it to be interesting and useful. Any comments you have may be left in the space immediately below.

How Do You Like to Roast a Chicken?

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    • NeverTooLate2012 profile image

      NeverTooLate2012 5 years ago

      Now I need a chicken! Good lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      wow awesome lens, did you take all of those photographs. The only downside is that it is 11.30 pm and now I want roast chicken. lol

    • IDo2 profile image

      IDo2 5 years ago

      I'm going to give this a try. Thank you :)

    • profile image

      tebor79 5 years ago

      I''m gonna surprise my girlfriend tonight with the citrus fruit recipe. thanks