Melt in the Mouth Roast Chicken

I’ve been making roast chicken for years but last weekend I made the best – and easiest – roast chook I’ve ever made. As is often the case with achieving excellence, it came about inadvertently, and through a desire to cut corners.

My regular roast chicken is a variation of Jamie Oliver’s, with a paste of fresh herbs, lemon & garlic rubbed under the skin. It usually takes me about half an hour of prep. Last Sunday, after a busy and tiring weekend, I had completely run out of energy to cook, but I had bought the chicken and wanted a roast. So I decided it would be a no frills roast this time.

I did little to the chook other than rinse and pat, and remove excess fat around the cavities. No stuffing – I just halved a lemon and placed inside the cavity for moisture and flavour. I tied the legs and put it in a pan drizzled with olive oil, with really large chunks of unpeeled potatoes and pumpkin. Then I scattered over whole unpeeled garlic cloves, and torn fresh rosemary sprigs, drizzled a little olive oil over the lot, and seasoned with salt and pepper.

The chook went into the oven at 160c instead of the regular 180c and we went to the pub to watch the footy. Two and a half hours later we came home to the most incredible roast: the skin of the chicken was crispy like it had been deep fried, and had come away from the meat which had slowly steamed under it. You didn’t need a knife to carve this – the bones just pulled out, and the meat came away with a fork. Oh and the vegies were perfect; the lack of turning did them no harm.

I will never roast a chicken any other way.

I haven’t put a photo up as it really won’t do it justice. Besides I want you to imagine it from my description. I’ve just listed the ingredients below, you can follow the directions above.


  • 1 free range (organic if you can afford it) chicken
  • 3-4 large potatoes, washed and halved
  • 4 large crescents of kent or jap pumpkin with skin on
  • 6-8 whole garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • handful of rosemary
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • Salt & pepper
  • Olive oil

3 thoughts on “Melt in the Mouth Roast Chicken

  1. louisabellissima April 16, 2011 at 10:25 pm Reply

    This sounds so nice, especially with the pumpkin. Unfortunately it’s not pumpkin season here, but I have some sweet potatoes I could use instead. I will definitely try it soon.

  2. theabbotsfordkitchen April 17, 2011 at 9:48 pm Reply

    Oops just accidentally liked my own post and don’t know how to undo! Glad you like the sound of it Ms L and hope it works just as well for you. Sweet potato would be just as good. And if you have brussel sprouts in season I’d throw some of them in (whole) too! x

  3. David Imber April 18, 2011 at 12:51 pm Reply

    Sounds divine, roast chook really is comfort food. Nigella has a great basic chook recipie too which I use a varient of. I tend to favour the start off with the hottest oven you can for 20 mins then go down to 170 or so. Works with roast potatoes too (start em really hot then power down for a slow roast).

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