Tag Archives: Roast Chicken Recipes

Clementine and Thyme Roast Chicken 

I haven’t given you a roast chicken recipe in awhile but it’s time for a nice seasonal one. I got a lovely chicken at the butcher, which cost about ¬£6, but it was so much better than the ones they flog in the supermarket. And being from the butcher, I feel a bit happier trusting it for stock. So really it gives you better value for money. You can of course use whatever type of chicken you’d like to – I just thought I should explain why mine looks a bit scrawny!

The clementines look a bit creepy under the skin, but it’s a great way to make the chicken self-basting without using butter when you’re thinking of your waistline and cholesterol.

You will need: 

1 chicken 

1 onion

1 leek

1 carrot

4 cloves garlic

2 clementines 

6 sprigs of fresh thyme

Salt and pepper

A drizzle of olive oil 


1. Prepare your oven by heating to 200c fan. Then grab a deep roasting tray and line  it with foil. I like to use one piece for each side, wrapping it around the side of the tray, then another piece flat against the middle so none of the roasting juices escape. 
2. Cut the vegetables and half of one of the clementines into large chunks and place on the tray, along with the garlic. 

3. My best roasting tray has a rack, so I’ll be using that, but if you don’t have one, just plonk the chicken on top of the veg.

4. Slice the remaining clementine. If you’re using s larger chicken, it would be better to use two thinner slices on each breast, but mine sliced quite thickly due to be using a crappy blunt knife. To get under the skin, lift up the loose skin at the bottom there and put your hand inside. Then you have to gently push your fingers between the skin and the breast, and keep pushing upwards until the skin separates. You have to do this separately on each side. Then squeeze the clementine slices up there. 

5. Put the chicken on the tray, add the fresh thyme, season then drizzle on some oil. Shove it in the oven for around 10 minutes, then turn and turn down the temperature to 180c. Cook for a further 10 minutes before covering the tray in foil. Again, I like to use two pieces to make sure the tray us completely covered, overlapping in the middle. 

I like to turn the tray again about 40 minutes from the end but that’s not strictly necessary. 

The cooking time will depend on the bird. Generally, you should allow 20 minutes per 450g plus another 20 minutes getting the bird warmed up. Setting a timer works best for me. 

Pull her out of the oven and allow to rest before carving. If you want to make a gravy, immediately move the bird and vegetables into the lid piece of tin foil or a plate, then pour the cooking juices from the tray into a ramekin or small bowl. If you’re eating soon, pop it in the freezer for 10 minutes, or just leave out to cool then pop in the fridge if you’re cooking ahead or if you want to save the stock for something else. This will separate the stock from the fat, so much so that you can just spoon off the fat and discard it, being left with a lovely jelly stock to melt down. 

Stock recipe using the chicken carcass and skin to follow later this week…no wastage! 

Harissa Roast Chicken

OK, ok I make a lot of roast chicken! There are a few reasons for this though! 1. It’s more economical than buying breasts and thighs separately 2. It’s the best way to get a lot of flavour in with a minimum of effort 3. Well, it’s roast chicken and I’m British and 4. I’ve been eating a lot of salads lately, particularly for work lunches and cold roast chicken is a great way to get some relatively lean protein in without filling your life with dull flavours.

This one is really simple, especially if your supermarket prints recommended cooking times on its packaging!

You will need:

1 medium to large whole chicken 

1 pot Greek yoghurt – I think this one was about 150ml but I used the surplus to make a dressing. Probably about 100 ml would be enough

4 tsp rose Harissa. I had a jar of this in the fridge, but you can buy it in the speciality foods section in Tesco, or fresher from your local deli 

4 cloves garlic

1 knob ginger

Salt and pepper

1 onion

1 lemon 

1. Mix about 100 ml of the yoghurt with the Harissa. Grate in 2 cloves of garlic and all the ginger. Season, mix and spread all over the chicken. Allow this to stand outside the fridge for around 30 mins.

2. Preheat the oven to 200C fan, and make sure your shelves are nice and low so there is plenty of room.

3. Cut the onion into sixths and the lemon into quarters. 

5. Line a large baking tray and add on the onion segments, remaining garlic and half of the lemon. Stuff the other half of the lemon inside the chicken’s cavity. 

6. Put the chicken in the oven and immediately turn the heat down to about 180C. Roast for about 20-30 minutes then cover with foil, and turn the tray.

7. Turn the tray again about half an hour from the end. This one cooked in 1 hour 55. Remove from the oven and rest. You can check it’s cooked with a temperature probe or check the juices are running clear when you stab the thickest part of the thigh with a scewer if you’re nervous that you might not have cooked it through.

8. Allow to cool then carve. I actually removed one of the breasts about half an hour after removing from the oven, as I had it warm with vegetables for supper. Once picked, it still gave me a good dinner plateful of meat.