Belinda's top tips on how to cook the perfect roast chicken

Cooking the perfect roast chicken is really straight froward and one of the most basic meals you can make at home. There are so many ways to do it, I like to vary the ways I cook it but always keeping it simple is best.

To me roasting a chicken depends on my mood, the amount of time I have and whats in the fridge. I always roast my chicken with either butter or olive oil and sometimes put 1 whole lemon inside and sometimes an onion. If I have time I may brine the chicken which imparts a rich, salty flavor to the meat that also helps to keep it moist and tender throughout the cooking process. 

 

There is no right way to roast a chicken but I calculate my roasting time at 15 minutes per 450g (1lb) of weight plus an extra 20 minutes in a preheated over 180°c/350°F gas mark 4.

To check that the bird has been cooked make sure the juices from the chicken run out clear with no traces of pink.

A few simple rules to follow:

  1. Never put the chicken in the oven straight from the fridge. Always allow the bird to come to room temperature first.
  2. Always make sure your chicken doesn't go in to the oven wet. It's better to let is sit uncovered in the fridge for a few hours before bringing it out so the skin dries a bit.
  3. Place your chicken in a tin that fits. If there is too much room around the bird the juices will burn.
  4. Once the chicken is cooked let it rest on the side for about 15 minutes before carving.
  5. A delicious and simple golden brown chicken without stuffing, can be achieved by rubbing butter over the breasts and legs, seasoning inside and out with salt and black pepper.
Ellie Collins