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How to Roast a Chicken (With Recipes)

Gordon loves cooking and experimenting with food. He loves making new dishes, particularly with unusual or underused ingredients.

Whole roast chicken stuffed with lemon and herbs

Whole roast chicken stuffed with lemon and herbs

Can there be any greater smell known to mankind than that of a chicken roasting in the oven? The smell is so inviting and appealing that one of the most difficult parts of roasting a chicken can be waiting until it is actually cooked. This is true whether we are roasting a whole chicken, chicken wings, or even chicken legs and thighs.

This page will look at different ways in which it is possible to easily roast chicken, both whole and in its various component parts. Hopefully, at least one of the roast chicken recipes featured here will appeal enough to ensure the smell of roasting chicken is soon filling your kitchen and tantalising your tastebuds.

Butterflied Whole Roasted Chicken on Assorted Root Vegetables

roasted-chicken-recipes
The backbone is carefully cut out of the whole chicken

The backbone is carefully cut out of the whole chicken

The chicken is laid on top of the roughly chopped root vegetables

The chicken is laid on top of the roughly chopped root vegetables

This may be best described as a partially butterflied chicken, as it is only actually the backbone that has been removed. Begin by sitting the chicken on its broad end, its back facing towards you. If you are unfamiliar with this process, feel your way down the backbone and where you are going to cut either side of it. Using a large cleaver, (which makes the job much easier than even the sturdiest and sharpest of knives,) cut straight down either side of the bone, holding the chicken steady with your free hand, well away from the blade of the cleaver. Pull the backbone free and discard it.

The root vegetables used in this recipe are simply one pound of whole, unpeeled, baby new potatoes, one red onion, one large carrot and one large parsnip. The carrot and parsnip should be scraped or peeled and cut into large wedges. The red onion should be peeled and quartered. Put all the veg onto a large baking tray, season with salt, pepper and a large pinch of both dried rosemary and dried thyme. Give them a quick stir around with a wooden spoon. Lay the chicken on top as shown in the photograph to the above right and season the chicken with salt and pepper.

Preheat your oven to 375F/190C and cook the chicken for one hour. Remove it from the oven and pierce the thighs at the thickest part with a metal skewer to ensure the juices run clear in both instances. Cover with foil and leave it to rest for fifteen minutes.

This is an excellent recipe for when you are having an outdoor grill party and space on the grill is at a premium. Simply put your chicken in the oven in this way, forget about it for an hour while you attend to other things and then take the tray to the outdoor table to serve the dish.

Roasted Chicken Leg Portions With Mediterranean Vegetables

roasted-chicken-recipes
Mediterranean vegetables are roughly chopped and scattered in a baking tray

Mediterranean vegetables are roughly chopped and scattered in a baking tray

Chicken leg portions are laid on top of the vegetables

Chicken leg portions are laid on top of the vegetables

Chicken leg portions are beautifully browned and crsiped, while the vegetables are succulent in the chicken juices

Chicken leg portions are beautifully browned and crsiped, while the vegetables are succulent in the chicken juices

Each chicken leg portion is served on a bed of Mediterranean vegetables

Each chicken leg portion is served on a bed of Mediterranean vegetables

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Ingredients

  • 4 chicken leg and thigh portions
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 courgette/zucchini
  • 12 small cherry tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 black olives (pitted)
  • 1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

Instructions

  1. Put your oven on to preheat to 375F/190C.
  2. Peel and quarter the red onion.
  3. Deseed and roughly chop the yellow bell pepper.
  4. Top and tail the courgette (zucchini), slice in half lengthwise and roughly chop.
  5. Make a small cut in the top of each of the cherry tomatoes, to prevent them from bursting during cooking.
  6. Place all the vegetables onto a baking tray and gently stir them around. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
  7. The chicken leg and thigh portions should be laid on top of the vegetables and seasoned with salt and pepper. Place the tray into the oven for thirty minutes and test the chicken portions to ensure the juices run clear. Cover with foil and leave to rest for at least ten minutes.
  8. Slice each of the black olives in half and use them to garnish the dish, along with the parsley, immediately before serving.

This dish is delicious served simply with a chicken leg and thigh portion per person, on top of a generous spoonful of the vegetables. You may wish to consider serving it, however, with some fresh, crusty bread, or even some simple and basic bruschetta, which can easily be prepared from scratch while the chicken portions are left to rest.

Orange, Lemon, Honey and Thyme Roasted Whole Chickens

roasted-chicken-recipes
Halved orange and lemon are mixed with honey and thyme

Halved orange and lemon are mixed with honey and thyme

Chicken is rested and carefully carved

Chicken is rested and carefully carved

The whole chickens in this instance are firstly stuffed with lemon and orange which have been coated in honey and thyme. One small orange and one lemon are placed into a pot of boiling water and allowed to simmer for ten minutes. Remove them to a chopping board with a carving fork and carefully quarter them before adding them to a mixing bowl with one tablespoon of honey and a teaspoon of dried thyme. Mix gently but well with a wooden spoon, before stuffing half of the mixture into the cavity of each chicken.

Place the chickens into the oven, preheated to 375F/190C, for one and a quarter hours. Check that the chicken juices run clear, cover with foil and rest for twenty minutes. The legs, wings and thighs should be removed from the chicken. Carve off the whole breast fillets and slice. Serve the chicken in a large dish, perhaps with the salad accompaniments suggested below.

roasted-chicken-recipes
The skins are gently rubbed off the boiled potatoes

The skins are gently rubbed off the boiled potatoes

Simple mixed, fresh salad

Simple mixed, fresh salad

Salad Accompaniments (Four Servings)

Potato Salad

Ingredients

  • 24 small new potatoes
  • 3 tbsp low-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp sweetcorn
  • Salt and white pepper

Instructions

This potato salad is incredibly simple but very tasty, one of the big factors being the use of white pepper as opposed to black.

  1. Place the potatoes in a large pot of cold water and bring the water to a boil.
  2. Simmer for thirty minutes.
  3. Drain the potatoes and submerge them in cold water to cool.
  4. Rub the skins off the cooled potatoes, half them and add them to a mixing bowl.
  5. Add the sweetcorn, mayo and seasoning and stir thoroughly.
  6. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate until required.

Fresh Salad

Ingredients

  • 3oz fresh rocket leaves
  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 6” cucumber
  • ½ red onion

Instructions

  1. Half the tomatoes and deseed them with a teaspoon.
  2. Cut into wedges.
  3. Half the cucumber lengthways and scrape out the seeds.
  4. Slice into crescents.
  5. Slice the red onion and mix all the ingredients together in a serving dish.
  6. An optional final garnish of chopped black olives may be added to the plate in this instance if desired.

Salt and Spicy Chicken Wings

roasted-chicken-recipes
Chicken wings are coated in sunflower oil, chilli powder and salt

Chicken wings are coated in sunflower oil, chilli powder and salt

Ready to eat salt and chilli chicken wings

Ready to eat salt and chilli chicken wings

Simple rocket, tomato and pineapple salad

Simple rocket, tomato and pineapple salad

Roasted chicken wings are very popular and absolutely delicious, especially when cooked salt and spicy. This recipe could not be simpler and contains none of the chemical additives that may be likely in wings purchased from a fast food outlet.

Instructions

  1. Mix one tablespoon of sunflower oil, one teaspoon of salt and one teaspoon of hot chilli powder to a paste in a large bowl.
  2. Add twelve whole chicken wings and mix thoroughly to evenly coat.
  3. Leave to marinate while your oven preheats to 400F/200C.
  4. The foil over the base of the baking dish in this instance is purely to make it easier to clean up afterwards and is entirely optional.
  5. Lay the wings on the tray in a single layer and put them into the oven for thirty to thirty-five minutes until beautifully crisp.
  6. Cover and rest for ten minutes.

The wings may be eaten and enjoyed as they are but serving three of them on a bed of a handful of fresh rocket leaves, one medium chopped tomato and a chopped pineapple ring makes a very appealing and tasty starter or appetizer. The tomato and pineapple give a hint of Chinese sweet and sour, without the MSG and other potential, less than healthy additions. It can also be prepared in minutes, while the chicken wings are resting.

Comments or Feedback

Thank you for visiting this page and for spending time reading through it. Hopefully, you will have found at least one recipe which appeals and which you intend to make. Any comments or feedback which you have may be left in the space below.

© 2011 Gordon Hamilton

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