Everyone knows how to roast a chicken, right? I have been roasting chickens for as long as I have been cooking. When I was at university, I went on a diet that consisted of eating nothing but roast chicken and tomatoes. Nothing else, breakfast lunch and dinner, just chicken and tomatoes! I would roast chickens three at a time so there was always cold chicken to take with me to work and classes. But this roast chicken recipe is my favorite! The easiest, producing delicious, perfect chicken every time!

 

whole chicken, size 14 or larger*

extra virgin olive oil

sea salt and fresh ground pepper

garlic powder and paprika (optional)

potatoes for roasting

vegetables for roasting

1. Heat oven to 190 degrees centrigrade. Wash and dry the chicken, inside and out. Sprinkle salt and pepper inside the cavity and rub around. Place chicken into large roasting dish. With breast side up, rub olive oil all over skin. Sprinkle liberally, in this order, with salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika (if using).The paprika adds a beautiful red colour to the roasted skin, besides adding flavour.

2. Flip chicken over so the bottom is facing up, and repeat above process with olive oil and seasoning. Leave chicken in this position, with back up, and place in oven for 35 – 45 minutes, until skin is nicely browned.

3. While the chicken is roasting, scrub the potatoes but do not peel. Washed white or red jacket potatoes work best. Cut potatoes into 4 – 5 cm chunks. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, along with garlic powder and paprika if using.

4. Prepare vegetables for roasting. Carrots and parsnips work really nicely here. Peel and cut into chunks, then toss with potatoes. Other vegetables can be added, such as red onions, quartered, or whole courgettes cut in half. But these should be added to the pan last, not tossed.

5. Remove chicken from oven and carefully flip over so that the breast is facing up. Add potatoes and vegetables all around the chicken, then place back in the oven for a further 35 – 45 minutes, or until done. To tell if the chicken is cooked, pierce the dark meat to see if the juices run clear. Or check the temperature – the breast should be 70 degrees C at it’s thickest point, and the thigh should be 82 degrees C.

6. Remove the chicken from the pan, letting the juices from the inside drain out. Rest for 5 – 10 minutes before carving. The potatoes and vegetables should be done at the same time as the chicken. But if it is a small chicken and has cooked quickly, you may need to put the pan back into the oven while the chicken rests.

7. As for those yummy pan juices – I like to drain off the top layer of fat, getting down to the concentrated flavours that have cooked out, dribbling these over the potatoes and veges and around the chicken. Or use as you like to create your own gravy. (I am not very good at gravy, so you are on your own for this part!)

Serves 4

*Cooking times may need to be adjusted for larger or smaller chickens. For smaller than size 12, or baby chickens, roast for the entire time with breast side up, on a rack placed in the pan if you want a crispy bottom