Perfect Roast Chicken

Perfect roast chicken

For all of my semi high falutin' tastes, I admit that one of my favourite meals, the one that has me fork and knife at the table ready, is the humble roast chicken. I have a visceral reaction whenever I see a gloriously bronzed bird at the table and along with bread baking, I believe there is no smell better than a roasting chicken. And because I can't help but fiddle, I made a stuffing with apricot and onion, a slight twist on the traditional sage and onion.

Perfect roast chicken

An item that makes another appearance in the recipe is Duck Fat. I had a little left over from cooking a duck stashed in the deep freeze. I never used it as I only had left such a small amount. But luckily only a small amount is needed here. If you can't be bothered, and the whole point is that this is an easy dinner where the oven does all the work, just use butter. And prepare to swoon, this method ensures that there's no dry breast meat at all, just succulence and bliss.

Perfect roast chicken

Perfect Roast Chicken

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An original recipe by Lorraine Elliott

  • 1x good quality chicken (1.2kg/2.7lbs feeds 3 people)

  • 2 tablespoons of duck fat or butter

  • 1 tablespoons of herbs of choice (I used fresh sage and dried oregano)

For stuffing

  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs

  • 1 egg

  • 60g/2ozs butter

  • 1 small onion, peeled and chopped

  • 4 dried turkish apricots

  • salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 220c/440F.

First prepare the stuffing

Step 1 - In a saucepan, melt butter and cook onion until soft. Meanwhile, add the rest of the ingredients into a bowl and mix. Once onions are cooked, add to bowl and combine. Add a little water to bind if necessary.

Then prepare the butter

Step 1 - In a mortar and pestle grind, make a paste of the garlic and herbs. Then mix duck fat through and set aside.

Then for the fun bit:

Perfect roast chicken

Step 1 - Stuff the chicken with the stuffing, being careful not to stuff the chicken too full as the stuffing will expand.

Perfect roast chicken

Step 2 - Breast side up, with legs of the chook pointing in your direction, strap on the latex gloves, trying not to make dirty jokes about airport cavity searches, and gently slide your fingers under the breast skin to ease it from the flesh. Push gently all the way down as far as your fingers will reach on both sides, then slide the herbed duck fat under the skin, massaging it along on the outside. Be very careful not to puncture the skin.

Perfect roast chicken

Perfect roast chicken

Bake chicken in 220C/440F oven to 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Perfect roast chicken

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