Roast Chicken – The Dish I Would Want On A Desert Island

Its pretty unpleasant outside (in the UK that means its cold). So I am allowing myself to drift off to a faraway island which is warm and sunny. I’m taking the Mrs and the kids with me of course. But coconut and berries ain’t going to cut it. No I’ll be taking the ingredients for a good old fashioned roast chicken.

Before we depart for warmer climes I got the Adventurous Eater to help out with a test run. First we need to check out the ingredients:

For the Chicken

  • 1 Duck, ha ha no 1 chicken
  • Butter
  • Fresh rosemary, sage and thyme
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 2 lemons


  • Pigs in blankets (sausagemeat, streaky bacon)
  • Broccoli and peas
  • Roasted new potatoes
  • Gravy

First prepare some big juicy pigs in blankets. Put to one side (they can go in the oven about 20 mins before serving).

Get stuck in son….

…they look good enough to eat raw!?

Now the main event – the chicken. Wash it and dry it inside and out. Then (not for the squeamish) stick you fingers under the skin of the breast to lift it away and then stick loads of butter under the skin, and smear more all over the surface. Then stick the garlic and the lemon into the cavity:

Now place the chicken in a roasting tray and place the herbs and another lemon in the tin (with some other vegetables if you fancy it).

Pour a bit of wine in too and slap some bacon across its back (I mean chest) and that bird is ready for a proper roasting!

Roast for about an hour and a half (but not too long or it will dry out and have the texture of cardboard). Meanwhile parboil some unpeeled new potatoes and then sprinkle with olive oil and salt and shove in the oven too and roast for a while.

Gently simmer some peas and broccoli and when done put in a serving dish to keep warm. Now make the gravy – gravy makes or breaks roast chicken so don’t cock it up! Take the chicken out of its tray and keep warm in a serving dish. Stir some cornflour into the juices and add some of the veg water. Season with all sorts of things and then transfer to a jug. You’re ready to serve!

Even the fussy eater had some. With Ketchup unfortunately. (On the food and himself).

16 thoughts on “Roast Chicken – The Dish I Would Want On A Desert Island

  1. Comfort food!. A chef friend once prepared a roast chicken for me similar to your description except without the herbs. The simplest dishes are better than the most high-falutin kind if prepared well. The potato water is a good addition to the gravy; the leached starch helps thicken it.

  2. I’m with you on all of it except I can’t bring myself to do the butter smearing. Covering in a tent of tinfoil keeps it nice and juicy without the need for stents after the meal. Take it off half an hour before serving to get the bacon crisped.

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