Really useful roast chicken

Really useful roast chicken

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Prep: 5 mins Cook: 1 hr, 10 mins


Serves 4
This succulent all-purpose roast can be enjoyed with trimmings on Sunday or used as the basis for other satisfying meals

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal434
  • fat25g
  • saturates8g
  • carbs1g
  • sugars1g
  • fibre0g
  • protein51g
  • salt0.39g
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  • medium whole chicken (about 1.6kg)



    Chicken's many plus points - its versatility, as well as the ease and speed with which it…

  • 1 lemon, halved



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • 1 onion, cut into wedges



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • few thyme or rosemary sprigs, or even a couple of bay leaves



    Rosemary's intense, fragrant aroma has traditionally been paired with lamb, chicken and game…


  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Untie the legs and sit the chicken in a roasting tin, preferably non-stick. Push the lemon, half the onion and a few herb sprigs into the cavity. Re-tie the legs with string if you like. Turn the chicken over so the breast side is facing down, season generously, then drizzle with half the oil. Roast for 30 mins.

  2. Carefully turn the chicken over, add the remaining onion and a few more herb sprigs to the tin, then toss them with any juices. Season the breast side, then drizzle with remaining oil. Roast for 40 mins until deep golden and smelling irresistible. Test chicken is cooked by inserting a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh; the juices should run clear. If they don’t, give it 10 more mins, then check again. Cool for 30 mins, then use your hands to pull the meat from the bones in big pieces (this is far easier than when the chicken is cold, plus you can get it in the fridge more quickly to completely cool down). Chill for up to 3 days, or use the warm meat for one of my recipes (see below).

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Comments, questions and tips

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19th Jul, 2009
Two Hoots: I think what was meant was that if the chicken is broken up while still warm, it will cool down more quickly and therefore can be placed in the fridge sooner.
19th Jul, 2009
Surely you don't mean to break the chicken up so that you can cool it in the fridge more quickly? Thats how it reads. You should never put warm food in the fridge.
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