Mum’s Roast Chicken & Spuds | DonalSkehan.com
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Mum’s Roast Chicken & Spuds

October 27

I think great home cooking begins and ends with a good Roast Chicken on a Sunday afternoon with family. When I was growing up, the Sunday roast was an important part of the weekly routine- it was the ceremonious ending to a weekend well spent, and made way for the week ahead. I have dreams of mum’s tender chicken, rich gravy, roast spuds and carrots!

  • serves Serves 6
  • time 1 hr 15 mins


  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. 2. Add the garlic and a generous pinch of sea salt to a large pestle and mortar. Bash to a smooth paste, add the thyme and bash a little more before adding the butter and gently mash to combine.
  3. 3. Ease the chicken skin away from the flesh using your fingers. Push most of the butter under the skin and spread the rest on top to coat and put it in a roasting tin.
  4. 4. Roast the chicken for approx. an hour until fully cooked, golden and the juices run clear when a skewer is inserted into the thickest part of the thigh.
  5. 5. Put the potatoes in a pan of cold salted water and bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain then return to the pan, pop on a lid and toss to fluff up and dry the spuds.
  6. 6. Tip the par boiled potatoes into a large roasting tin. Drizzle with the oil and toss together. Season well with salt and pepper. Put in the oven, for 45 minutes, Toss the potatoes every so often as they cook.
  7. 7. Remove from the oven onto a warm plate to rest, cover with foil to keep warm.
  8. 8. Whilst the chicken and spuds cook, add the carrots, 25g butter, 100ml water and sugar to a heavy based pan along with seasoning.
  9. 9. Cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes until the carrots are tender. They should be coated in a lovely buttery sauce. Add the peas and and parsley, toss together until the peas are warm, then season.
  10. 10. Whilst the chicken rests, make the gravy. Tip the pan into a jug, strain off the fat to leave you with the chicken juices.
  11. 11. De-glaze the pan with the wine, add the flour and stock to this, whisking constantly, along with the reserved roasting juices. Bubble for 2-3 minutes to cook the flour and until the sauce has become smooth and thickened. Season to taste. Serve with the chicken, roasties and glossy carrots on warm plates with the pan gravy.

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8-10 garlic cloves, peeled 

4 thyme sprigs, leaves removed and chopped

100g butter, softened 

1.6kg free range chicken 

2 onions, quartered 

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 

For the gravy:

2 tbsp plain flour 

125ml white wine 

250ml chicken stock 

For the potatoes:

1.5kg rooster potatoes, peeled and quartered if large

5 tbsp rapeseed oil 

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 

For the carrots and peas:

500g carrots, cut into 2cm diagonal slices

1ooml water

50g butter 

2 tsp sugar 

200g frozen peas

Small handful flat leaf parsley, chopped 

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper