Portly Cooks | Comfort Food: Roast Chicken


Is there anything better than a roast chicken dinner? Don’t get me wrong I’m a fan of all roasts and generally go for beef or pork but sometimes, roast chicken is what is needed. Its comfort food, maybe even soul food, it transports you back to being a 6 year old kid around a giant dining table on  a Sunday evening.

The craving I’d had for around a week told me that I needed roast chicken, not wanted needed, so I set about creating something that would satisfy the craving but also elevate the humble chicken dinner slightly so here it is.

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 parsnip
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • Garlic
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • 200ml champagne
  • Butter

It’s all simple enough, start by heating your oven to 180c then, chop and slice all of the vegetables, once sliced arrange them in the bottom of a large roasting pan.  For the chicken carefully lift the skin from the crown and put butter under the skin before liberally seasoning the whole bird before putting on top of the vegetables.

A bowl mix together the champagne and chicken stock and pour into the roasting pan.  Cover the chicken with foil and then roast for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes take the chicken out, uncover then return to the oven for around 45 minutes, may more maybe less depending on the size of your chicken.

Once the chicken is cooked, you should be able to twist the leg free with no resistance and the juices should run clear. Wrap the chicken in some foil and leave to rest while you crack on with the sauce.

The sauce for this dish comes from the stock and vegetables that have been roasting with the chicken and taken up all of that wonderful flavour. What you’ll need to do is pour the contents of the roasting pan into a large blender.

Once everything is in there, turn it on and give it a whizz. Depending on how thick you want your sauce (mine was like a thick soup once I blended it) you may want to add more chicken stock to let it down a bit.  Once that’s done you are ready to serve with whatever vegetables you fancy and of course some roast potatoes.


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