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Calling all chicken-roasting mumsnetters!

(20 Posts)
mossycat Tue 05-Feb-13 21:08:57

How do you cook a roast dinner? I'd love to prepare a simple Sunday roast...chicken, roast pots and veg. But my only attempt took about 4hrs sweating in the kitchen, bland chicken and soggy potatoes. What tips and timeline do you follow?
What should I do from taking chicken out of plastic.... to serving on plate.....
There must be a secret Sunday roasting-domestic goddess-multi tasking mum club out there ....and want to join!

sittinginthesun Tue 05-Feb-13 21:18:05

Ok. I cook a roast of some sort every week, so roast chicken...

Average chicken takes 1 hour 45 mins, plus 15 mins rest time. Check the timing on the packet if you buy one from the supermarket; so if aiming for a 1.30 pm meal:

Turn oven on 180* at 11.30am

Chicken in roasting tin, salt and drizzle some olive oil at 11.45am

Peel potatoes, carrots, parsnips and chop. Par boil potatoes for 5 mins, parsnips for 2 mins

Heat oil in another roasting tin in oven, then roll potatoes in hot oil, salt, in oven at 12.20pm

Parsnips and carrots in a baking tray, drizzle oil and salt, in oven 12.30pm

Baste chicken every half hour, at least.

Veg (green beans or cabbage?) on stove top at 1.15pm. Drain into a jug.

Take chicken out at 1.15pm, place on plate, cover in foil.

Roasting tray on stove top, heat up, bit of plain flour, stir, add cabbage water and stir to make gravy.

Everything else out of oven. Done.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Tue 05-Feb-13 21:20:29

The chicken brick.

MisForMumNotMaid Tue 05-Feb-13 21:29:13

Allow meat to come up to room temperature before putting it in the oven. Par boil potatoes as soon as you put the roast in so that they can cool on a baking tray before you put them in the oven.

Leave meat to rest for at least fifteen minutes before carving, you'll end up with more juices you can add to the gravy (even instant gravy is boosted with a drizzle of meat juice). For texture think hot tense muscle vs relaxed one. The tense muscle would be more chewy, the relaxed one easier to eat.

I leave mine out for half an hour, wack the oven up to 210 to crispen potatoes and cook yorkshires.

Hassled Tue 05-Feb-13 21:29:34

I turn oven on at 4.30 (200C), chicken in at 4.45 (put half a lemon, any fresh herbs, maybe some garlic in the cavity), chicken is good to go at 6.15.

Potatoes - with the 6.15 end time I have them parboiling by 4.45ish, well drained and then into hot oil by 5.15 or so. The key is to have the oil good and hot, and turn the potatoes often.

I put sausages in with the chicken, and bacon on top, early - say 5.15 - and then fish them out when clearly done, because the juices that they give out really help in making a good gravy.

Gravy - tip the roasting tray when it's had a good hour or so, scrape up all teh lovely brown stuff. Put some of the fat in a pan, add a couple spoonfuls of flour, then slowly add the rest of the juices and pad it out with a wine/stock combo. Tip the pan again later and get as much as you can out of the chicken.

agirland2boys Tue 05-Feb-13 21:29:42

I love Jaimie Oliver's roast chicken recipe:

I serve it with sweet potato mash: (bake them in the oven or microwave, scrape out the insides, puree with some double cream) and steamed green beans.

Or instead try baby new potatoes: I like this recipe from River Cafe Easy:
Roast potatoes in a pan

Waxy potatoes 600g
Rosemary leaves 2 tbsp
Garlic cloves 3
Extra-virgin olive oil

Peel and cut the potatoes into 2cm cubes. Chop the rosemary. Peel the garlic cloves and cut in half.

Heat a thick-bottomed pan with a lid. Add sufficient olive oil to cover the bottom. When very hot, add the potatoes, rosemary and garlic, season generously and cover.

Cook over a medium high heat, shaking the pan to prevent them from sticking. Make sure the potatoes are turned over so they become crisp and brown on all sides. This will take 15 minutes.

mossycat Tue 05-Feb-13 21:34:18

Sittinginthesun-thank u gonna buy my chicken now! Do I need cover chicken in foil? or a special type of roasting dish ....the brick thingy seems a bit extravigant

MrsPnut Tue 05-Feb-13 21:35:06

I work out the time for roasting a chicken based on 75 minutes for 1.5kg, it makes for a juicy cooked chicken.

Work out what time you want to eat and work backwards, get the meat out of the fridge and into a roasting tin early. Cut any trussing and put half a lemon inside the cavity along with a sprinkling of salt. Rub the smallest dot of olive oil across the skin. Leave to come to room temperature.

Prep the veg, peel and par boil potatoes and leave them to cool. Prep all the other veg.
I steam cauliflower to make cauliflower cheese over the par boiling potatoes and I also make parsnips during the winter that need parboiling too.
I cook my chicken at 225C, making sure that the oven is preheated, and put a tray of oil in at the same time for roasting.
Make the Yorkshire pudding batter and leave it to rest for a bit.
I put the potatoes in 40 minutes before the chicken is due to come out, and then turn them after 10 minutes and put the parsnips in.
Turn them every 10 minutes or so until nice and crispy.
Put the Yorkshire pudding tin with fat in it to heat up about 10 minutes before the meat comes out. When you take the chicken out, squeeze the juice from the other half a lemon over it and a sprinkling of salt.

Leave the meat to rest for 20 minutes or so before hacking it to serve. I use this time to cook the Yorkshire puddings, stuffing and cauliflower cheese.

Timing is everything, and the key to making it look easy is doing the prep beforehand.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Tue 05-Feb-13 21:37:32

The brick thingy means you don't have to add fat, nor faff around basting. Just sayin'. ;)

2cats222 Tue 05-Feb-13 21:38:47

I occasionally like to cheat...

Pre cook veg (til slightly soft but still crunchy) day before or earlier in the day and put in microwaveable dish with a couple of tablespoons of water and covered with cling film. Simply heat this in the microwave for 3 to 5 mins (til piping hot) just before you serve the lunch (less juggling/things to worry about just before you serve).
Ditto make gravy day before or earlier in the morn. Then put in a pan on the stove to re heat and add chicken juices when you take chicken out of the oven.

If you do the above the only two things you need to worry about are the chicken and the roasties. Simplest way I do it is put chicken on roasting dish (rest it on some thick slices of onion). Stuff chicken cavity with quartered lemon and fresh herbs (eg thyme) and some cloves of garlic. Rub all over skin with butter. Stick in the oven (check times for the weight of your chicken but I recommend hotter temp for first 20 mins then turn oven down). Keep basting it every 30 mins and add a little water to the roasting tray if it is dry. As soon as that's in the oven put a tray of fat (goose fat or oil) in oven to heat ready for potatoes. Peel pots, quarter and simmer in a pan until softened (can prod with a fork) but not too soft). Drain, shake (so roughed up) and sprinkle with a little flour. The fat in the potato tray should now be v hot, so when you put the pots in it it sizzles. Stick it in the bottom of the oven with the chicken. Turn them regularly. Take chicken out of oven after cooking time is up and turn upside down on tray (to keep breast nice and juicy). Cover it with foil to keep warm- it can rest for 20 to 30 mins.
Now organise everything else ready to serve (veg, pots, gravy), warm plates etc. Then carve chicken, stick on a serving plate and enjoy!
Sounds long but actually simple- do as much as poss beforehand, cook chicken an potatoes together, re eat everything ready to serve while chicken rests then carve!

mossycat Tue 05-Feb-13 21:38:52

All sounds lovely.

How do I know chicken is done... How do you actually test if juices run clear?

LizaTarbucksAuntie Tue 05-Feb-13 21:39:35

I brush the chicken with olive oil, sprinkle with salt/pepper/random herbs. I stick either a lemon or onion and garlic inside.

Roast it breast down for the first half hour.

Definately leave it 20 mins before the carve.

I will give you my failsafe trademark roasties tip as well.

par boil potatoes, drain them. shake a handful of semolina over them then pop them in hot Olive Oil. My roasties are a thing of legend...

Good luck roast dinner is a true luxury and something everyone should enjoy.

2cats222 Tue 05-Feb-13 21:41:15

Cooking times for chickens
It's done when, if you stab it (skewer) in the leg or breast the juices that you can see come out of the hole you just made aren't pink / blood coloured

sittinginthesun Tue 05-Feb-13 21:41:27

I don't cover in foil when cooking, only while it's resting. I have a friend who cooks it in a bag, but my lot like the crispy skin.

Just a roasting tin is fine. When you get the knack of the timings, you can add extras, like stuffing, sausages, lemon and herb etc, but I usually just do a basic roast.

Exactly the same for beef or lamb (beef is quickest usually - small topside done in 60 mins plus 15 mins resting).

Jamie Oliver's Yorkshire pudding recipe is usually quite easy. Shout if you want it.

pooka Tue 05-Feb-13 21:42:59

Jiggling the legs can show chicken is cooked. If the joint moves freely.

I tend to also stick a skewer in the thickest part of the bird - so where the thigh i think joins the body. If the juices are clear, it's cooked.

I always shove an onion or a lemon in the cavity. With the lemon, if you prick it and put it in microwave for a blast it helps juice up the chicken.

I rub butter and salt/pepper on the skin.

DeepRedBetty Tue 05-Feb-13 21:44:55

acquire 6 rashers of streaky bacon with the chicken. Spread them over the breast/top. Stuff in oven at 180 C fan.

Put some potatoes on to boil for 10 mins (parboiling). Basically, switch off when it's been boiling for about 5 mins if they're chopped into decent size hunks.

Place hunked parboiled pots in oven with (best of all) beef dripping dribbled all over. (Second best) cooking oil ditto. stir it all around so pots are coated. I use a silicone pastry brush for this, but got good results with my trusty old tablespoon.

You can add parsnips (not parboiled, just as they come but chopped into chunks same size ish as pots) also carrots, sweet pots, turnips, swede, butternut squash, same rules as parsnips.

Smash up several slices of stale white bread, add some onion and some cloves, pour over some milk, in a smallish casserole dish. Put lid on and put in oven too. Idiot proof bread sauce. I usually put it on a baking tray in case it boils over, which makes a disgusting mess. Still tastes good though.

use instuctions on cellophane the chicken came in for timings.

Get all green veg prepped, boil some water ready, put on to boil when chicken comes out of oven. It will cook in the time it takes for chicken to rest and you to make the gravy.

Do I need to do the gravy instructions again? (Seem to have typed these out a million times...)

bonzo77 Tue 05-Feb-13 21:49:54

I don't baste. Cook chicken upside down then turn right way (breast up) for the last 30-45 minutes. Roast on a little rack in the oven tray, or on top of thick slices of veg. Once cooked remove the rack, pour off any fat then put the tin on top of the gas hob. Then add liquid (water + a stock cube, wine), simmer and scrape crusty bits for gravy. Pour into a jug in the sink in case of spillage. You can strain it if you like, though I don't. If you want to thicken the gravy add a little corn flour to cold water in a cup then add to the simmering pan. Do not add corn flour direct!

Roast spuds etc in a different tin, otherwise they soak up all the fat and you don't get any crusty bits for gravy.

sashh Wed 06-Feb-13 07:08:46

45 mins roast (plus slow cooker)

You need
1 slow cooker
1 pan or steamer
1 poasting tray ans 1 YP tray or two roasting trays
1 large jug
An oven

1 chicken
2 potatoes per person
3 carrots per person
1/4 head of broccoli per person
1 stock cube
kettle full of water
lard or dripping

Switch on the slow cooker, take the chicken out of plastic and put in the sc. You can add herbs, garlic etc if you want. My mum puts a half lemon in the body cavity.

You can do the following at any time before cooking
peel potatoes and cut into roast size.

peel and slice the carrots and prep the broccoli.

break 2 eggs into a jug, add 1/2 pint of milk then keep adding plain flour and whisking until you have the consistency of double cream.

It can even be done the day before but if you do store the potatoes in water to stop them coloring.

Put the veg (not potatoes) in the pan or steamer

45 mins before you want to eat

turn on the oven to full
put one baking tin in with enough fat that when it melts it covers the bottom by about 1cm. Put it in the top of the oven

Set a timer for 10 mins

when the timer goes off add the potatoes, turn them over to coat the potatoes in the fat and put back in the oven.

set a timer for 10 mins

Stir the potatoes around, coating them in fat again and move to a lower shelf.

Put the YP tin and fat on the top.

set timer for 10 mins.
Boil the kettle

when the timer goes
stir the roast potatoes again
pour the YP batter into the tin and put back in the oven
turn on the steamer or add the veg and boiling water to a pan and set it to boil

set a timer for 10 mins - final timer

When this timer goes take the chicken out of the slow cooker and wrap in foil - keep warm.

Depending on how much juice has come out of the chicken you may need to pour some off.

Add flour and whisk, add stock cube and boiling water.
When the final timer goes off serve.

jennimoo Wed 06-Feb-13 21:25:33

Bonzo - I also flip my chicken. DH has been known to say that makes it better than his DM's so must be good ;)

Crunchymunchyhoneycakes Thu 07-Feb-13 09:54:45

I've had good results with a slow cooker - whole chicken in sitting on a some roughly chopped onions, carrots, leeks and celery. I put those little apache potatoes cut in half in too. Sprinkle the top with dried herbs and a pinch of paprika. I mix a (low salt babies)chicken stock cube with a few tablespoons of boiling water and put that in too. Stick it on medium in the morning and its ready about 5 in time for tea. I sometimes add some green beans about an hour before the end too. You don't get crispy skin but you do get really moist meat, loads of gravy with no effort to make it and only one pot to wash.

I've also done something pretty similar but putting a whole chicken in a lidded le creuset pot with the veg and cooking it in the oven on a high heat for about 2 hours for a medium chicken.

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