Perfect Roast Chicken

Friday 12 June 2009

I've been lucky enough at various times in my life to have had chickens. I love chickens. They're really quite fascinating and although they often look quite alike, they have their own unique personalities and can be a lot of fun to watch.

My first husband's family had battery hens. I used to help grade eggs in the hen house on Saturdays, which was a long metal building. I never saw the inside part where the chickens were kept. I only ever saw the grading room, where all the eggs used to pass through a machine which would then categorize them according to size and quality. They passed through it on a conveyor belt and at the end of this belt I would put them into the appropriate cartons. I had not idea what it meant to be a battery hen at that time. Good thing too, or my heart would have broken into a million pieces.

Thankfully these days we have all been made aware of the appalling conditions on battery farms and we have the option to buy free-range organic chicken . . . happy chicken just tastes better!

This is my favorite way to roast a chicken. It turns out moist and delicious each and every time.

*Perfect Roast Chicken*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

I highly recommend free-range, organic chicken. All that running around in the farm yard is good for them and they taste better. A happy chicken is a tasty chicken!

1 X 1.75kg chicken
salt and freshly milled black pepper
30g of butter, softened
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped (no need to peel)
1 stick celery,roughly chopped
1 leek, white part only, chopped
olive oil
1 sprig sage
1 bay leaf

Pre-heat the oven to 190*C/375*F. Remove any giblets from your chicken and save for another day. Wipe your chicken dry and then rub it all over with the softened butter and season it liberally inside and out with some salt and pepper.

Place the chopped vegetables in the bottom of a thick roasting tin with some olive oil. Place on the hob over medium heat and cook and stir with a wooden spoon, cooking for about 5 minutes to slightly colour the vegetables. Remove from the heat. Add the spring of sage and the bayleaf. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables and roast for about an hour and 15 minutes, or until the chicken tests done. (The leg bone should move easily in it's socket and the juices should run clear) Remove from the oven, place on a cutting board, and let sit for 15 to 20 minutes (lightly cover with some foil) before carving.

If you like you can add some chicken broth to the vegetables in the pan and place it over the burner and bring it to a boil. Allow to boil for several minutes before straining into a large jug. Discard any solids in the strainer and then skim off any fat from the juices in the jug. Return them to the pan and cook and simmer for a good 10 to 15 minutes, to reduce somewhat. Spoon these juices over the sliced chicken when you serve it. You can also thicken them with a bit of flour and water to make a thick gravy.

mmm . . . I can't wait to do something with the leftovers. Tune in tommorrow to see what I came up with!


  1. Oh Marie how good does this look! Our local village butcher sources fantastic organic chooks (Aussie slang for chicken!) from a local supplier & they are divine. A really good roast chook is one of MOTH's absolute faves, so I'm really looking forward to using your recipe.
    Millie ^_^

  2. Marie, I am loving this site! So far, I want to try every recipe you've shown. I think the applesauce cake will come next...

  3. that chicken looks fabulous. Now I know they celiver in my area I must have a good look round their site.

  4. Dear Marie, the chicken look absolutely wonderful, I love roasted chicken!! xxxxGloria

  5. Hi Marie
    I just noticed that you have this new blog! I wonder how I missed it? The recipes in this one look wonderful too(of course).
    You are a busy girl. I don't know how you keep up with 2 blogs. Hope you have an enjoyable weekend.
    Hugs, Rhondi

  6. Marie, one day at a time you are turning me into a foodie. I love your posts and your photography...I know I have said it before but, honestly, coming to your cottage just makes my day! I like what you wrote on your sidebar of your expectation of English food and how wrong it has turned out to be. I had always heard the same but I know, at least at your cottage everything is delicious!

    I have eaten in London a few times and it was unremarkable, but we just didn't know where to go. Next time we'll check with you before we go!

    I am sorry I can never just leave a simple, SHORT comment. I am not this chatty in person, really!

  7. Yea! I'm in!

    Thanks for this chance, Marie

  8. Puff, pant, puff, pant -I ran all te way here. Hang on while I go over to Abel and Cole's.....

  9. Awww-www! They don't deliver near us but I've left my email addy so they can tell me when they do and send me a special offer.

    love, Angie, xx

  10. I've been reading your blog since you posted that great recipe for jam roly-poly.
    Abel & Cole have a factory near me & I know a few people who work there, they always say what a lovely, friendly place it is to work.
    Your chicken looks lovely, I might make one for the family tomorrow.

  11. I occasionally have one of their boxes (I don't often cook) but I have never been disappointed with anything they send me. Their fish is good too, have you tried it?

  12. Ooooh, I'd love to win this. Every blogger in the country has been offered free goodies from Abel and Cole except me! Probably doesn't help that I have a baking blog...

  13. I just have to follow your recipe, the chicken looks so tasty, I am drooling. Would like to know what the other food is on the plate next to the sweetcorn. Yum!!! cant wait for the leftover recipe either.


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