Tag Archives: Roast Chicken

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! 

Smile, It’s Sunday!

So it looks like I have a bit of a Sunday blogging series going on here. There’s just something about a big cup of home brewed coffee and an overworked oven that gets my writing buzz on.

I bought this orchid last weekend for the princely sum of £5 and I’ve very glad i did as I got back to a dead rosemary plant and dried up old roses. 

Today, I had to skip my lie in. Well, I still had an extra hour in bed than I would if I was working, but still, who sees 8.30am on a Sunday morning! There was a good reason, to be fair, with my potential wedding photographer to be met. 

He’s a great guy with an over-flowing enthusiasm for what he does, so a nice way to spend an hour and a couple of cups of coffee. Fingers crossed, that’s the next thing to tick off the list! 

I also discovered Apple Music today, by starting my free trial. I have my iPhone 6 back, by the way, and it has made me very happy, especially as it had managed to back-up all of my engagement-moon photos. Anyway, I haven’t heard great reviews about it, but I’ve been listening to a couple of the “Activity” playlists and have been pleasantly surprised. It basically allows you to pick out a playlist from a group designed to fit the mood of whatever activity you’re planning to get into. It won’t play your favourites, but it will give you some new or retro surprises.

I had to do some revising for my Financial Services exams earlier so I picked on one of their “studying” playlists. After finishing my Blogilates calendar workout, I decided I should add in some extra cardio because today’s group of workouts only gave you 8 minutes or cardio. I picked out a track from one of the working out lists and filled it up with 6 minutes of star jumps, bum kicks, skipping, boxing, knees up and jumping twists. Much better. 

Next, I set about getting a chicken in the oven to roast. I won’t share the recipe, as it was a fairly basic one and I think I’ve probably roast- chickened you all out a bit. Basically, I rubbed grated garlic and ginger into some butter with parsley and seasoning and rubbed it under the skin, stuffed with a lemon and roasted with a clementine, an onion, more garlic and a sprig of rosemary.

I picked out the Subday brunch playlist under the cooking section and enjoyed some sing-along classics from Celine, Tina and James Taylor. Excellent times. 

Anyways, I’m off to prepare some of my shopping for the freezer, cook supper and make banana bread. Playlist time! 

For anyone dreading the new work week, I’ll leave you with some excellent words from Freddie (Sunday meme) and wish you a very happy September (for Tuesday).


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. 

Beer Can Chicken

This is something I’ve wanted to try for ages and is also something Mr Brooker swears by. I don’t think he roasts chicken any other way now. It’s quicker, it’s juicier and it’s a lot more fun than a traditional roast chicken (although parts of the process can feel a little barbaric/obscene – we are sticking a can of beer up a chicken after all!

There are many ways you can flavour this guy up, but this version, which includes a good measure of salt and a glug of vinegar, gives you an incredibly crisp and delicious skin. 

Don’t use this recipe if you want a relatively immediate gravy, although you could tip some of the beer into the roasting tray with onions and garlic. 


You will need:

1 medium to large chicken

1 can lager

4 cloves of garlic

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander 

2 tbsp rapeseed oil 

1 tsp black pepper

1 tbsp red wine vinegar 

1. Pour yourself a little of the lager and place 2 of the garlic cloves inside the can. 

2. Crush the remaining garlic and mix the other ingredients together. Slather it all over the chicken and allow to marinade, out of the fridge, for at least 30 minutes, allowing the meat to come up to room temperature at the same time. 

3. Preheat the oven to 170C fan and line a deep roasting pan well with tin foil. Place the can of lager on the centre of the tray and carefully slide the chicken onto it (this is the obscene part!) spreading its legs a little if it’s proving to be snug. Make sure it balances upright before letting go. 

4. Put in the oven and cook for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the meat reaches at least 75C when probed. Don’t worry too much if the skin blackens- this is just the sugar catching the heat. 

5. When ready, allow to rest for around 20 minutes then carefully remove from the beer can to allow you to carve it on a stable surface – don’t burn yourself on the can or the liquid inside! 

Serve with salad, pasta, rice, whatever! I had mine with homemade baked beans and a corn cob and then in wraps for lunch. 

Indian-Style Roast Chicken

Here in Scotland, spring and summer seem to be passing us by. Yet, I’m determined that it won’t force me back into lunchtime soups! So, here is a bit of an experiment, which provided a succulent spiced chicken for my weekday salads.  The spices can of course be tailored to your preferences. 

You will need: 

1 medium to large roast chicken

1 onion

2-4 cloves of garlic depending on size and preference – half of the quantity should be left whole for the tray whilst the rest should be grated for the marinade. 

1 tbsp grated ginger 

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp garam masala

1 tsp oregano 

2 citrus fruits – I used 1 lime and 1 tangerine 

Drizzle of olive or groundnut oil 

1. Grate the garlic and ginger into a bowl and add the other herbs and spices, including seasoning to taste. Mix up in a bowl. 

2. Line a large roasting tray with foil. 

3. Chop the onion into 4 or 6 chunks and lay around the edge of the tray. Chop one citrus fruit into chunks to spread around the tray as well, and add the 2 garlic cloves. Chop the other in half to fit inside the chicken’s cavity and pop in there 

4. Add a little oil to the spice mix and rub it all over the chicken. Wrap with more tin foil and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes.

5. Preheat the oven to 180C fan then pop the chicken into the oven. I wasn’t looking for crispy skin so I left the foil cover on, taking it off for the last half hour and it gave me the tastiest, juiciest chicken ever. 

Timing wise, I went with the 1hour 55mins suggested by the wrapper, but you are essentially looking to cook a chicken for 25 minutes per 500g plus an additional 25 minutes. 

This is great hot with rice or cold with salad. 

Lemon and Garlic Roast Chicken

So last week I had a hell of a hankering for chicken Caesar salad. I decided, therefore, that with the great spring weather we’ve been having, it might be time to make salad for weekday lunches. The most cost-efficient way, it seems, to get a good batch of cooked chicken ready for the fridge, which can then be used with various different meals. I always prefer the brown meat on a chicken for eating cold so I figured a whole chicken would be the best way to go. 


You will need:

1 medium to large chicken

A good sized knob of butter

2 lemons

1 onion

4 or 5 cloves of garlic






1. Take your chicken out of the fridge around an hour before you’re ready to cook it. Half an hour if it’s a hot day. This helps it get to room temperature before cooking so it doesn’t get too much of a shock when you put it in the oven and to make sure your cooking times are as accurate as possible. 

2. After about 40 minutes, preheat the oven to 200C and start to prepare your bird for the oven. Pull off your garlic cloves and clean off the worst of the papery skin. Line a roasting tray with foil and skatter the garlic around, bearing in mind that it’s to end up sitting around where the chicken will eventually sit. Chop the onion into sixths or eighths and skatter that around as well, keeping one piece to the side for the cavity. 

3. Grate the zest of one of the lemons and place it in a small bowl or ramekin. Half one of the lemons and place it inside the cavity along with the last piece of onion. Quarter the other lemon and place around the side of the tray.

4. Add the seasoning and herbs to the lemon and add in the knob of butter. Carefully mash this around with a fork to distribute the flavourings throughout the butter. 


5. Opposite to the cavity, you will find loose skin feed under the bird inside the trussing string. Carefully loosen this out and open it up. Stick your hand inside and carefully separate the skin from the flesh at both sides of the breast with your fingers. You want to loosen this as far as you can fit your hand in, without tearing the skin. 

6. Take small amounts of the butter mixture and slide it under the skin at both sides, carefully massaging it up the way through the skin to try to cover the breast, reserving a small amount to rub on the outside. Tuck the skin back into the string and underneath the bird and rub the remaining butter all over the breast and legs. Toss over some more thyme and parsley.


7. Put in the centre of the preheated oven and immediately turn it down to 190C. Cook for 20 minutes then take it out of the oven, turn, and cover the breasts with tin foil. Cook for a further 20 minutes per lb, turning again halfway through before covering the whole tray with foil. 

8. Once your timer is up, remove from the oven and allow to rest. If you’re not confident it is fully cooked, stick a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh and ensure the juices run clear. If not, put back in the oven until they do when tested again. Carve if serving, or allow to cool a bit more before carving and picking the carcass. 

9. The cooking juices can be used to make a gravy or stock, but i drizzled them over the chicken to help it keep moist and full of flavour. Enjoy!