How to roast chicken

Everyone will fancy chicken tonight with this fool proof how to guide that will give you a perfect roast chicken every time.

The signs of a perfectly roasted chook are that it's cooked through but still moist, brown on top but not burned to a crisp! Of course, it's also full of delicious flavours. Regardless of your preferred stuffing or braising, this simple step-by-step guide to roasting a chook will make sure you can't go wrong. 

1. Find out the weight and trim the excess

Get your chicken out of its wrapping and jot down its weight.

Give it a wipe with some kitchen paper then trim off the excess flabby skin around its neck and rear end. Carefully trim out the wishbone with a small sharp knife. You’ll find it at the neck end in an upturned ‘v’ shape under the top of the breasts.

2. Loosen the skin

Sit your chicken breast-side up on your board and gently push your fingers under the skin that covers its breast. You want to loosen the skin to make a nice pocket ready to put your stuffing in.

Loosen it all the way over the breast, just be careful not to tear the skin as then the stuffing will leak out.

3. Get stuffing 

Lift the chicken up by its neck and push your stuffing down into the little pocket you’ve made.

A simple stuffing of breadcrumbs, herbs, butter and a bit of salt and pepper is delicious.

Put the chicken back down flat and gently smooth and even out the stuffing under the skin.

Next, stick half a lemon and some bay leaves into the cavity at the other end. As the chicken cooks the lemon will steam and release a lovely flavour.

4. Tie it together

Next, you want to truss the chicken. This keeps it all compact so the legs don’t hang out and cook and dry out before the rest of the bird is cooked. It also makes it much easier to handle, turn and carve.

Sit your chicken breast side up. Get a long piece of kitchen string and run it underneath the chicken about midway along the breast. Run each end along the breast to the end of the wings, then back around the outside of them.

Run the string from the outside of the wings along to the end of each drumstick then tie in a knot to secure it. You should have the wings and legs held neatly into the side of the chicken.

5. The finishing touches

Finally, brush the chicken with some melted butter, season with salt and pepper and sit it in a roasting tray that’s quite snug. This way the juices from your chicken won’t burn and you can make lovely gravy.

Roast the chicken at 200C/gas mark 6 for 40 minutes per kg, plus an extra 20 minutes. You can cover the breast end with foil to keep it extra moist. Just take the foil off to ensure it browns nicely at the end.

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