This is one of the easiest recipes to put together with amazing results, be it after 3.5 hours!
I’ve been making this for years and been eating it for twice as long. I only ever got this wrong once and swore never to cut back on the cooking time ever again. The longer this stays in the oven, the better, the meat will fall off the bone. Do not rush this! This is the best tip I can give you.
During March lockdown I moved into my parents house to stay with my dad whilst my mum moved into my place to look after her sister. Long story and not relevant to the recipe but relevant to the conclusion of this blog. I love this recipe so I decided to make this for dad and I, nailing it, dad was full of compliments. Job well done!
Mum came back home and some weeks later, dad wanted ‘Jo’s roast’. Keep in mind this recipe was passed down to me from my mum who took this from her mum. Mum managed to dry the chicken out, not sure how she managed it but she did.
My dad didn’t hesitate to tell her that my recipe was much better, how could she never have made this before in the 41 years of marriage, it was nowhere as good as mine and to get the recipe from me...WINNER!
I’ve just read the blog to her and she’s now upset that I’ve embarrassed her, she so angry, I’m crying with laughter.
One Whole Medium Chicken
1 Large Onion
2 Rosemary (optional)
1 Bay Leaf
400ml Sunflower Oil
Pre heat oven to 200C / fan 180C / gas mark 7.
Butterfly the chicken and lay it out in a large baking tray. I line the baking tray with parchment paper to help with the cleaning later.
Peel and cut your potatoes, around 2 inches approximately in thickness, place them all around the chicken. Clean and slice your onions and tomatoes, cutting them into wedges and placing them into all the gaps between the potatoes.
Place the 2 stems of rosemary either side of the chicken and 1 bay leaf tucked somewhere between the chicken and potatoes.
Pour the sunflower oil over the entire ingredient. Add the water from the corners of your tray, in order for the oil to remain in place.
Salt and pepper the entire dish. I do not over do the salt as you can add this individually to preference later but I am generous with my grinders. On the potatoes only, sprinkle cinnamon. On the chicken only, generously sprinkle dried oregano.
Cover the entire tray with silver foil and place in the oven for 3 hours. Lowering the oven to 180C / fan 160C / gas mark 4.
Remove the tray from the oven and pierce the fat part of your chicken with a sharpe knife. If the juices run clear, the chicken is cooked. If not cover and place back in the oven for a further 30-40 minutes.
Once done, remove the foil, turn the oven up to high heat for 15 minutes so everything can turn nice and crispy!
If unsure how to butterfly a chicken use google or YouTube.
I like rosemary, some people don’t. If you’re not using rosemary, use 2-3 bay leaves instead. This is entirely up to you.
If your potatoes do not turn reddish, you can remove the chicken and leave the potatoes in the oven on a high heat for 10-15 minutes extra, while you cut the chicken up. If you leave the chicken in the oven for longer, you may dry it out.
Do not rush to take the chicken out of the oven before the 3 hours are up, it will not be ready.
If you have a large or extra large chicken, you will need to add slightly more oil and water. The reason to season everything after adding the oil and water is to not wash off the seasoning form the roast.
Serve with a salad!
Costing under £10.