chicken in a bath

26 February 2017

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This is my go-to roast chicken recipe. It’s sort of French country style by way of Australia (hi Ma!) – I imagine myself cooking it in a chateau kitchen somewhere in Burgundy, surrounded by friends and fine wine. This is the closest I’ve got to replicating rotisserie chicken at home, and I challenge anyone to find a cooking method that results in more succulent and juicy meat. The aroma as it roasts is simply sensational, and the resultant crispy skin a wonder to behold.
Eat the skin FFS; life is short.

Amazing served with mashed sweet potatoes and green beans tossed in butter and garlic, although also see super easy alternative accompaniment at the end of the recipe. Delicious in sandwiches slathered with mayonnaise, or chopped into a salad, risotto, or creamy pasta sauce. My suggestion would be to shred any leftover meat from the carcass while it is still warm. This is of course assuming that anything remains after the main meal…in my experience people will probably ask for seconds.

Chicken in a Bath

large free range chicken (I suggest around 2kg)
1 tablespoon olive oil
20g butter
4 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves (fresh or dried)
a few sprigs fresh rosemary
a few sprigs fresh thyme
250ml chicken stock
125ml dry white wine
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 180°C. Melt the butter in a small pan over a low heat.

Place the chicken in a roasting tin. Brush the skin all over with olive oil and melted butter.

Lightly crush the whole garlic cloves (you can leave the skin on), and place them in the chicken cavity along with the bay leaves, rosemary and thyme.

Pour the stock and white wine over the chicken, and season well with salt and pepper.*

Put it in the preheated oven for around 2 hours (reduce the cooking time if your chicken weighed substantially less than 2kg), or until the juices run clear when a skewer is inserted into the thigh, basting every 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and lift the chicken onto a board or carving dish, then cover it with foil and leave to rest for at least 10 minutes before serving for maximum mouthwatering moistness.

*If you want a no-effort accompaniment, surround the uncooked chicken with scrubbed baby potatoes before it goes in the oven.


Saturday bacon

25 February 2017
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Any Saturday that I’m chez moi, I make Saturday Bacon. It has become something of a ritual, and in years to come will surely be the stuff of legend. Wander out of bed, preheat the oven, prepare the baking tray, make a cup of tea, bacon in the oven, back to bed with tea and […]

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30 July 2016
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At the moment I am triathlon training. The other day a guy from a food company asked me why I don’t buy energy bars. When I explained that it’s because I can make them myself at home, he seemed utterly flabbergasted. Seriously, how hard is it to mix a few ingredients together, roll them into balls and […]

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bread stress? no knead

5 April 2016
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I was fairly sceptical about this one. No-knead bread that has an amazing crust and crumb, reaaaally? Well I’m very happy to say that I was wrong: it totally works. This is a keeper. The recipe below is based on the now-famous method that was originally published in the New York Times, courtesy of Jim Lahey of the Sullivan Street Bakery, […]

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25 April 2015
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Today, 25th April 2015, marks the centenary of the first major military campaign fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. They landed on the shores at Gallipoli and after eight months of fighting, when the allied forces were evacuated from the peninsula, more than 8,000 Australian soldiers had been killed. My great-grandfather was […]

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peanut butter brownies

23 March 2015
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What can I say about these, except MAKE THEM NOW. They’re a very strong contender for my new signature bake. The basic brownie recipe came from a friend who has worked in the beautiful world of fine chocolate and really knows her stuff. I tinkered with it slightly, adding muscovado sugar to give an extra fudgy texture. Try to avoid […]

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banana, nut and dark chocolate cake

22 March 2015
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A conversation at a party yesterday has inspired me to revive this ailing blog. Life has been taken up with triathlon training, work and other things of late…time to get back to cooking and writing! We could all do with eating less refined sugar, and whilst I’m not about to advocate a celeb-worthy extreme deprivation […]

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save our spuds!

14 July 2014
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Today we are lucky enough to have a guest post from one of my very dear friends. He really knows his onions (and potatoes, and pastry), and I hope it will be the first of many. With the recently reported spud sales slump, this seemed a very timely contribution. Over to him… I suppose I’d better introduce […]

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bread & breakfast

17 May 2014
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I was supposed to be running 17 miles in a team relay this weekend, but my sporting dreams were temporarily put on hold last week after I sprained my calf muscle whilst training. Instead, I have just walked home (45 minutes) through Bristol city centre, triumphantly carrying this tart in a pizza box. Many many […]

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Princess Victoria marmalade

6 February 2014
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When I think of Costa Rica, several things come to mind: toucans, treehouses, a beautiful swimming pool sparkling in the sunshine, and the most delicious marmalade I have ever tasted, eaten whilst watching monkeys play in the trees outside the window. This recipe is my attempt to replicate that joyous breakfast. Seville oranges are something […]

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