Quick roast Christmas chicken & sticky veg
Enjoy an energy- and cost-efficient festive lunch – we’ve used a few tricks to cut down on the oven cooking time, but the result is still a succulent chicken
- Serves: 8 persons
- 2 ⅖kg whole chicken
- 1kg carrots, trimmed and halved lengthways (save the trimmings and peels for the gravy, below)
- 750g parsnips, peeled and quartered lengthways (see tip below)
- 50g unsalted butter, softened
- 600g brussels sprouts, halved
- 1tsp honey
Step 1Flip the chicken over so it’s breast-side down and the backbone is facing you. Using kitchen scissors, cut down both sides of the backbone, remove it and set aside to use in the gravy recipe (right). Turn the chicken over so it’s breast-side up, and push down firmly on the breastbone to flatten the bird. If you have time, season the chicken all over with salt, then cover and chill for 24 hrs. Remove from the fridge 2 hrs before cooking. Alternatively, you can skip this step and move on to step two.
Step 2Heat the oven to 210C/190C fan/gas 6½. Tip the carrots and parsnips into a shallow roasting tin. Squeeze some of the orange juice over the veg, then toss with half of the butter, plenty of black pepper and a little salt. Sit the chicken on top of the veg, then squeeze over the rest of the orange. Tear up the squeezed orange half and nestle it in the veg. Spread the rest of the butter all over the chicken and roast for 30 mins until the chicken is starting to brown, then lift the chicken onto a board, toss the sprouts into the veg, drizzle over the honey and sit the chicken back on top. Roast for 15-20 mins until the chicken skin is crisp and the meat is cooked through. Lift the chicken to a board and leave to rest for 10-15 mins. Stir the veg and roast for another 10 mins until lightly caramelised and tender.
Step 3To serve, carve the chicken into 12 pieces (see tip, below). Reserve the carving and resting juices to pour into the gravy. Arrange the chicken pieces and veg on a platter, or plate up and serve.