Serving: 15

I think there is nothing better than a juicy well-cooked roast chicken. It’s very easy to do and is a real crowd pleaser, in this recipe I am going to be a wee bit less conventional and I am going to embrace common sense cookery. I am going to ask you to cook your chicken upside down, yip upside down. My thoughts on this is that when the chicken is cooking gravity draws all the moisture and juices down into the cavity of the bird as it cooks, We then carve the meat off the bird take the legs off and throw away the carcass that is left with all the flavor in it. So if you cook the bird upside down the juice and the flavor from the carcass is drawn into the breast meat. Don’t worry about the golden crisp skin we will finish the bird off the right way up to create the lovely golden finish.

Creme Brulee


3 Large whole     Chicken, high welfare is much better

2                            Onion, roughly chopped

3                            Carrot, roughly chopped

6 sticks                Celery, roughly chopped

2 bulb                  Garlic, cut in half through the circumference

6 sprigs                Thyme

6 sprigs                Rosemary

4 feet                    Butchers string

2oz                        Sunflower oil

Salt and cracked black pepper


  1. Preheat your oven to 400°C
  2. Whether you choose a standard chicken, free range or organic is a matter of personal choice, but if possible, go for the best you can afford.
  3. Once all your vegetables are prepared place them into a deep roasting tray. This will provide a barrier between the hot tray and the chicken, it will also help any juices not to evaporate and the vegetables and juices can then be used to make your roast gravy.
  4. Now to your chicken, you will probably find that your chicken has been trussed with an elastic band. This serves a very important job, it is pulling the bird together the legs have been pulled in tight against the lower thinner part of the breast. Buy doing this it helps the bird cook more evenly as the legs protect the breast meat.
  5. You will need to remove the band for now, have a look inside the birds cavity and you might find a little bag of innards, if you have the little bag open it up and remove the liver and discard everything else pop in the tray with the chopped vegetables.
  6. You are now ready to get the chicken ready for the oven. With a generous pinch of salt season the inside of the cavity and the outside of the bird stuff the cavity with half the bulb of garlic and the herbs, take some oil and rub into the chicken skin.
  7. Next replace the elastic band back around the chicken. If you don’t have an elastic use some string.
  8. Place the bird on the tray breast side down and pop into the oven the length of time is dependent on the weight of the bird, the guide is 20 minutes per Ib + 20 minutes.
  9. If you can calculate your total time in the oven and cook the chicken upside down for ¾ of time. When you have cooked the bird ¾ of the time carefully turn it right side up and finish the cooking.
  10. How do you know if the bird is cooked as the chicken must be thoroughly cooked before serving, without any pink meat. Pierce the thickest part of the thigh with a skewer and let the juices run out. If they are clear, then it’s cooked, but if they still look pink, return it to the oven for 15 minutes, then test again. If you have a meat thermometer, push the probe into the thickest part of the thigh. The temperature should be 75°C before serving.
  11. The next stage is vital rest the bird before carving. This should be done for at least 15 minutes, resting allows the meat to settle and relax this helps the meat to be much more moist.
  12. To carve the bird I would remove the legs by popping them off their ball and socket joint at the pelvic bone, each leg can be cut into two joints the thigh and the drum stick giving four pieces of brown meat.
  13. Next taking a carving knife and slice the breast meat into thin slices until you reach the carcass do this on both sides. Until you have recovered all the meat.
  14. Make sure you keep the remaining carcass as it makes the most amazing roast gravy.


This is a great dish, it can actually be roasted the day before a broken down. This will give you a chance to make a proper gravy as well.

Please ensure that chicken must be properly cooked. Test with your temperature probe, it must reach a minimum temperature of 165°Fat the meats thickest part, also the juices shouldn’t have any pink or red in them.


Generously funded by The Russell & Josephine Kott Charitable Memorial Trust