This Christmas chicken is moist, juicy on the inside, tasty and packed full of flavours. It is perfectly roasted until the skin is golden. This roast chicken is a sure winner on your table this Christmas or at any other time of the year.
Roasted Christmas chicken
It can be overwhelming when planning your holiday menus, if like me, you are thinking of what to put on the table that would taste different from your weeknight dinner. I know, you are not alone, I have been there!
The truth is, I don’t always have roast turkey on my table for Christmas or any holiday but I always have a chicken roast. Apart from the fact that we love eating chicken, I find it easy to cook too and since I have a small oven, I can always cook the chicken along with the potatoes or veggies.
This chicken is packed full flavours that is perfect for the cold weather. That said, this roast chicken can be made all year round.
This Christmas rice will make a perfect side dish on your holiday table.
Tips for a perfect roast chicken
- Use free-range chicken, it can be a little pricey but it is worth it. Your chicken comes out moist and delicious at all times. Especially if you would be serving this roast at Christmas, it is ok to splurge a little more on the chicken. Your guest and family would thank you for the wholesome and nutrient-packed bird.
- Don’t scrimp on the butter and thrive to use quality butter too. I love using Kerrygold and Lurpak.
- Use fresh herbs whenever you can.
- For more flavour, season the chicken 1 hour or overnight before you cook with salt and pepper.
- Make sure you put the butter and herb mixture under the skin and in the cavity of the chicken.
- Elevate the chicken on the baking rack during cooking. One of the best ways of doing this is by placing the bird on a vegetable bed or on a trivet if you own an instant pot. My friend told me about the trivet hack. By doing this, the chicken cooks evenly as the air in the oven circulate around it and you can catch the drippings in the pan at the same time. You can make the best-tasting chicken gravy from the process. If you would like to make your own chicken gravy with pan drippings or sauce, follow the steps I used in making my turkey gravy to make yours.
- Tent the chicken with a foil if it begins to brown quickly, also place the bird in the middle rack of your oven for even distribution of heat and air.
Ingredients to make the best roast chicken
Free range whole chicken: My bird is about 2kg (about 4.4 pound)
Sage: I used fresh sage leaves, you can substitute with one teaspoon of dried sage
Salt and freshly crushed black pepper
Chicken stock (optional)
How To Make Roast Christmas Chicken
Bring out the chicken about half an hour before use so it comes to room temperature. Pat the chicken with a kitchen towel so it is dry.
Preheat the oven at 200C/400F
Loosen the skin on the breast of the chicken carefully using sliding your fingers under the skin or with the back of a spoon. Season the chicken including the cavity with salt and black pepper
Cut the carrots into chucks, cut the garlic bulb in halves then the onions, oranges and lemon in quarters then place in the roasting pan. Reserve 2 orange wedges and lemon for later. Set aside and proceed to prepping the chicken.
Finely chop the herbs (rosemary, sage, thyme and parsley) and add to the butter then mix to combine with the orange zest. If the butter is still hard, place it in the microwave for about 10 seconds to soften it.
First, rub the herb butter on the back of the chicken then place it on the vegetable bed in the roasting pan breast side up. Rub the herb butter under the loosened skin of the bird and all over it including the cavity. Stuff the cavity with the reserved lemon and orange wedges.
Place the chicken in the oven and roast until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the bird reads 165C/75F. For my chicken size, I roasted for about 2 hours, that is 30 minutes for every 0.5kg of the bird.
How long to roast a chicken
The general idea is to roast a chicken in the oven 20 to 30minutes for every ½ kilo or 1 pound. Eg
1.5kg chicken would be roasted anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes depending on the temperature you cook it on. 2kg around 80 to 120 minutes.
That said, a more accurate way of knowing if a chicken is well done is by using meat thermometer.
What to serve with Christmas chicken
The best chicken roast is severed with other delicious sides like this scalloped potatoes, pigs in blankets, bacon sprouts, garlic smashed potatoes or jollof rice.
How to store leftovers
This roast chicken makes the best leftover dishes like chicken panini or chicken sandwich. It can also be added to ramen noodles or chicken noodle soup.
To store in the fridge, let it cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
More recipes you will love
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Christmas Chicken (Roast chicken)
- 2 kg Free range whole chicken
- Orange zest from 1 big orange
- 100 g Butter
- 3 oranges or 2 large oranges
- 1 lemon
- 2 carrots
- 1 big onion
- 1 garlic head
- 1 spring rosemary
- 3 Sage leaves
- 1 spring thyme
- A handful parsley
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup low sodium chicken stock
- Bring out the chicken about half an hour before use so it comes to room temperature. Pat the chicken with a kitchen towel so it is dry.
- Preheat the oven at 200C/400F
- Loosen the skin on the breast of the chicken carefully using sliding your fingers under the skin or with the back of a spoon. Season the chicken including the cavity with salt and black pepper
- Cut the carrots into chunks, cut the garlic bulb in halves then the onions, oranges and lemon in quarters then place in the roasting pan. Reserve 2 orange wedges and lemon for later. Set aside and proceed to prep the chicken.
- Finely chop the herbs (rosemary, sage, thyme and parsley) and add to the butter then mix to combine with the orange zest. If the butter is still hard, place it in the microwave for about 10 seconds to soften it.
- First, rub the herb butter on the back of the chicken then place it on the vegetable bed in the roasting pan breast side up. Rub the herb butter under the loosened skin of the bird and all over it including the cavity. Stuff the cavity with the reserved lemon and orange wedges.Pour the chicken stock at the bottom of the baking pan.
- Place the chicken in the oven and roast until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the bird reads 165C/75F. For my chicken size, I roasted for about 2 hours, that is 30 minutes for every 0.5kg of the bird.
Nutritional data: Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients and brands you use. Under no circumstances will thedinnerbite.com be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information.
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Can I marinate the chicken in the herb butter over night?
Hello Alisa, yes, you can marinate the chicken in the herb butter overnight in the fridge.
I cooked this chicken yesterday for xmas dinner, and it was delicious! The flavour of oranges and butter made this so special. Yum! We had it warmed up tonight, and it was equally good. I'll make this again. (Sorry, I forgot to take a photo. We were so hungry!)
Dawn Cutler says
I made this meal for Christmas lunch yesterday. This was really good! I loved the flavor of the vegetables. The citrus flavor was great too. I added a cup of chicken broth to the bottom of the pan. I would recommend adding more than 2 carrots though. I will be making this one again. So yummy and easy to make!
Hi, did you cook with a lid on or off?
This sounds amazing! I have a package of chicken pieces-legs, breasts, thighs wings. Can I do this the different pieces or would the cooking times all be different?
Hi Leah, The chicken pieces may be cooked together if you prefer, although the cooking time will need to be adjusted so they don't become overcooked.
Hi there! I want to make this for a Christmas party I'm hosting. Can you prep the chicken ahead of time, say the morning of?
Hello, Shelby, yes, you can prep the chicken ahead and store it in the fridge until you are ready to cook it.
What am I supposed to do with the 1 cup of chicken stock?
Hi Deborah, you add it to the bottom of the roasting pan.
Could one put a bread stuffing inside the bird ? Would it alter the cooking times?
Yes, Jae, you can put bread stuffing but you would have to adjust the cooking time just as you have mentioned. The internal temperature of the chicken and stuffing should register 165F.