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How do I cook a roast dinner?(16 Posts)
Don’t know where else to post for help.
I’m 19, and have yet to cook a roast dinner. I’m currently looking after my much younger siblings for the weekend as my parents are away for work till tomorrow afternoon. Yesterday I went to to the shops and got everything needed for a roast chicken dinner and was planning to make it for yesterday’s dinner, well I ended up panicking as I had no idea what to do and my parents weren’t able to talk me through with what to do, I looked online and was overwhelmed by the amount of ways you can make a roast dinner, in the end I ordered dominos.
Today I’m going to make this roast dinner, but I don’t know how. Do I have to stuff a chicken? As if I do I think I’ll leave the roast tomorrow for my mum to make. How do I make the potatoes go crispy? How do I even make gravy? God I’m so clueless. I’ve never had to really put much effort into any cooking before, but doing this roast seems like such a mission. Someone please help me, I’ve got 3 children desperate to have their roast!
easy way: don't stuff chicken, on packet will say how long to cook for, just pop on baking try and cook for as long as packet says.
Spuds: you can peel the spuds but you don't have too, cut spuds in half or qtr depending on size, boil for 10 mins.
Put oil on baking tray and then tip spuds on, roll them round in oil, sprinkle some flour over top to make them really crispy and put in oven for around hour or if chicken going to take hour n half, put in at same time, they should be fine
Just boil or steam rest of your veg.
Gravy is normally just add to hot water and stick in microwave
If your going all out, stuffing: add hot water until it goes thick, put on tray, stick couple knobs of butter on top and pop in over for half hour
The key is to work your timings backwards and write it all down in order of what you do when.
So start with working out how long the chicken will need. Then decide what time you’re serving. Subtract one from the other - that tells you when the chicken should go in the oven. Then work out the timings of everything else around that.
Don't worry about stuffing the chicken.
Take the chicken out of the fridge for about an hour before you're going to start cooking it.
Just stick some butter over the top of it and since salt and pepper. If you have any herbs - thyme/rosemary then stuff then in the cavity. Maybe some garlic or a lemon. Not essential though.
Preheat oven to 180°. When it reaches the temperature put it in the middle of the oven. A medium size chicken takes about 90 mins to cook. You can check when it's done if you prick it and the juices are clear (rather than bloody) or if you've got a meat thermometer then use that.
Every half an hour baste it with the juices - basically pour the pan juices over the meat.
Re: potatoes - have a look on the BBC good food website. Put them in the top shelf of the oven about an hour after the chicken has been in the oven. Then when you take the chicken out of the oven (to rest it so it stays juicy) turn the temperature up for the last 15-20 mins to make the potatoes go crispy.
Re gravy. Just use bisto as this is your first time cooking a roast.
Simplest way I know....
1. Pre heat oven to 180°C
2. Check on wrapper for how long to cook chicken and then put chicken in oven with a couple of tablespoons of oil poured on it. Make a note of what time to take it out.
3. Peel potatoes and cut them into the size you like.
4. Put potatoes in pan of water. Bring to boil and cook for about 10 mins.
5. 1 hour before chicken is cooked, put potatoes in oven, covered with another couple of tablespoons of oil.
6. 20 mins before end time, cook veg
If you want to make your own gravy, use the pan you cooked chicken in once it's cooked.
1. Take chicken out and keep warm
2. Put pan it was in on low heat on hob
3. Add tablespoon of flour and stir into juices that were left behind by chicken
4. Add 1/2 pint water, a bit at a time, stirring constantly to avoid lumps
5. Add chicken stock cube if you like and keep simmering until dissolved
Don't stuff the chicken. But a pack of stuffing mix, follow the instructions on the side and bake it in the oven. This is what I do when I make roast chicken.
Put chicken in oven covered with oil, butter, salt and pepper. Gas mark 6. This will take about 1-1.5 hours depending on the size. It will probably say on the wrapping how long it needs. Also put a pan of oil in the oven for the roast potatoes.
Boil potatoes for about 15 mins then put them in the pan of hot oil. How crispy they are depends how long you leave them in for. They can stay in until the chicken is ready.
Put the stuffing in the oven about 30 mins before you want to eat.
Boil water for veg and cook veg about 15 mins before you want to eat. Peas and carrots are quick and easy and can go on the same pan.
Make gravy (use bisto). This takes 2 minutes.
Take everything out. Chicken willl be cooked when you stick a knife or skewer in and the juices run out clear. Unless it's massive, 1.5 hours should do it. If you think potatoes could be crispier, crank up the oven to gas mark 8, wrap the chicken in foil and give the potatoes another 10-15 mins.
Good luck, sure it will be delicious!
And you can prep most things early..chop and wash veg.
The stuffing can sit in its hot water until ready to cook
Most things stay hot enough if they are ready early, especially if you have gravy
This especially applies to the chicken. It can out of the oven half an hour before dinner time.
When you think it's cooked, pull the leg, if should pull away easy and the juice should not look pink , stick it back for 20 mins if not
What is always surprising is that If you avoid burning and severe over cooking, most people will be delighted and eat it all up even if you think it's not perfect
Timings: counting backwards from dinner time, start cooking your veg, stuffing, etc to be ready a few mins before - dishing up will take a few mins, so allow for that too. Use the oven timer to remind you when to put the next thing in the oven or when to light the gas under the pan. If something is ready before the rest, cover it and keep it warm (eg in a top oven).
Enjoy your meal.
Yes don't worry about stuffing, if you want it you can buy in a packet but just cook separately and serve on the side.
The hard thing about a roast is making sure the desperate elements are all ready at the same time. So before you start take a piece of paper and write down headings, ie chicken, potato, veg, gravy and then how long they all take to cook, e.g. chicken 1.5 hours in oven (that is an example, yours may take more or less depending on how big), potato 10 mins to boil, 1 hour in oven. Allow yourself time as well for preparing the veg and to pre heat the oven. Then work out a schedule of when everything needs to be started, working backwards from when you want to eat. So it might look something like:
1.15pm pre heat oven
1.30pm chicken in
1.35 prep potatos
1.45 boil potatos
2pm potatos into oven
2.30pm prep veg
2.45 veg on to boil/steam
If you don't know how long to cook your veg for just Google, times should be online. The only really important thing is to make sure your chicken is cooked all the way through, when you think its ready, stick a skewer or knife as far in as you can until juices flow out, if they are clear its done, if pink it needs more cooking. Otherwise slightly over or under cooked veg won't harm you.
Separate not desperate elements! Although some of my mum's roasts have desperate elements too
To cook roast chicken put oven on to heat up at 180c. Chicken cooking time depends on weight of chicken but is calculated at 20 mins per 1lb (or 454g) plus 20 mins - so for example for a 4lb chicken cooking time would be 100 mins. Baste ( spoon the fat/juices over the skin) the chicken half way through cooking time. When chicken is cooked just check it by sticking a skewer into thickest part of chicken to make sure juices run clear ie no blood. Lift chicken onto plate to rest for a while before carving. You can then make gravy using the fat and juices in the roasting tin. Add a tablespoon of flour and mix into the juices making sure you get lumps out. Cook this on hob for 1 min to cook out floury flavour. Then add a chicken stock cube dissolved in boiling water being careful to mix in slowly so it doesn't go lumpy. Bring back to boil until it thickens. Add more water if needed.
Roast potatoes as pp said. Parboil peeled and half/quartered spuds for 10 mins. Drain water off then shake spuds around in pan to rough up the outsides - this makes crispy bits. Place on baking tray and coat with oil. Roast in oven for about 1 hour whilst chicken is cooking.
Boil or steam other veg on hob whilst chicken/spuds cooking in the oven.
It’s really not as scary as you think - you can do all sorts of things to make a fancy roast but a simple one is really straightfoward.
The time for cooking the chicken will depend on the weight of the chicken you have. There will be instructions on the label - it may say something like “Cook for x minutes per kilogram”. If it does, the weight will also be on the wrapper so you can calculate it.
Turn on the oven to heat it up. Stick the chicken in a baking tray (preferably a deep one). I tend to rub a bit of olive oil on the skin to make it crispy (just a light drizzle over the bird then rub it in). Then plenty of salt and pepper. Then simply cook for as long as it says on the wrapper. For extra crispy skin you can take it out every so often, spoon the juices from the roasting tin over the skin a few times during cooking.
Roast potatoes are easy when you know how. They need about 45-60 minutes in the oven so calculate when they need to go in the oven based on the chicken. 15 mins before that peel the potatoes (you don’t have to) then cut into halves or quarters. Put in a pan of cold water with a bit of salt. Bring to the boil with a lid on (if you have one), then turn it down to simmering for about 10 mins. If you stick a fork in potatoes they should be slightly softer but not falling apart (although if they are falling apart it’s not the end of the world, it’s happened to everyone).
Put another baking tray with a couple of tablespoons of oil in the oven to heat up. Drain the potatoes in a colander and let them sit there for a minute.
For the best potatoes, chuck them back in the saucepan. Add salt and pepper and a tablespoon of flour if you have it (not essential), put the lid back on and shake vigorously so the potatoes get a bit bashed up. Then carefully put them into the hot tray from the oven (use a spoon and do one at a time so you don’t get burnt)
Or you can skip all that - drain them then put them straight into the hot baking tray (again add salt and pepper and be careful not to get burnt)
Then stick them in the oven, and turn halfway through cooking. That’s it.
If either the chicken or the roast potatoes are done before the other, just take them out and cover with foil to keep them warm - if they’re out for a long time you can always pop them back in at the end for five minutes.
Make stuffing separately if you want it.
For gravy I’d use instant if I were you. To make real gravy, you stick the pan you cooked the chicken in on the Hob, add a tablespoon of plain flour to the juices and stir until it all comes together in a sort of paste and cook that for a few minutes, then add boiling water (bonus points if you add chicken stock or chicken stock cubes).
Depends what other veg you’re cooking but most can be boiled or steamed - test with a fork to see if it’s done.
My best tip? Don't put anything inside the chicken apart from a lemon. Flavours and tenderises at the same time.
Oh bloody hell -don’t bother preparing potatoes - just buy Aunt Bessie’s frozen roast potatoes. They’re fail proof and you just put them on an oven tray from frozen..
As others have said, don’t bother stuffing the chicken and use bistro gravy granules.
Lol - just seen that the roast dinner has come and gone!
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