Roast Chicken - Timings.

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Roast Chicken - Timings.

Postby Gruney » April 9th, 2018, 1:23 pm

A very basic question, but I don't know - and I'm confused.

I don't tend to roast joints, but I've got a copy of Simon Hopkinson's "Roast Chicken and Other Stories", and am quite enthusiatic. His recipe for roast chicken is without frills, and perfectly straightforward, however the cooking time seems much shorter than I remember - when I used to be asked to do the "minutes per pound etc." sum.

For a 1.8kg (4lb) bird, he says 10 to 15 mins at 230deg, then 30 to 45 mins at 190. Turn off the oven, then leave the door ajar, and let the bird rest for 15 mins.

Coincidentally, in the latest "Delicious " magazine, there is a recipe for a similar no frills dish. The timings for a 1.8 - 2kg bird are 10 to 15 mins at 230 then 60 mins at 190. A similar region, but in percentage terms, quite a bit longer.

I had a look at the instruction book for my cooker - there were two sets, depending on the temperature chosen, but the higher one - 190/200 deg, says cover with foil, then 25 to 30 mins per pound. This, of course, would give a cooking time in the region of 2 hours.

Does the initial 10 to 15 mins at 230 really make such a difference, and which do you think of the shorter two seems nearer the mark? I would, of course, always do the "clear juices" test.

Incidentally - by how much do you think the cooking times should be reduced for a 1.3kg bird, which is the size the organic ones in our Morrisons usually are.

I'm sorry if this all seems terribly basic, but I don't know, and I would be grateful for a bit of guidance, please.
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Re: Roast Chicken - Timings.

Postby Meganthemog » April 9th, 2018, 2:01 pm

Hi Gruney, I am known as Mrs Chicken in the family as my OH loves chicken in any form :lol: Over our 40+ years of marriage I must have cooked literally thousands of chickens. I always do them the same way and have been told on numerous occasions that they are delicious. I have even converted non chicken eaters!
I liberally salt and pepper the bird inside and out. Place in a roasting tin and put into the oven at 190 degrees for about 1.5 hours - I usually buy a bird of about 2kg. I then leave to rest for at least 30 minutes. The skin will be crispy and the meat will come away from the legs quite easily but they will still be moist.
Check the thigh juice is running clear to be sure.
A whole roast chicken is a wonderful thing to have in the fridge!
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Re: Roast Chicken - Timings.

Postby earthmaiden » April 9th, 2018, 2:52 pm

I was brought up to do 15-20 minutes per pound plus 20 minutes at 375-400F. Now it's all in metric I convert the weight to pounds and the oven temp to centigrade using the conversion table which is stuck on my fridge (which says that 1.1kg is 2.5lbs and 375-400 is around 190-200C). I have never been disappointed. I think that people often start meat off high to brown it and then reduce the heat to cook it gently. I use gas nowadays so it's mark 5-6.
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Re: Roast Chicken - Timings.

Postby Gruney » April 9th, 2018, 3:33 pm

Thanks both.
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Re: Roast Chicken - Timings.

Postby Seatallan » April 9th, 2018, 4:04 pm

I do a roast chicken frequently and always reckon on 2 hours for a large chicken. I cover with streaky bacon and roast for 1 1/2 hours on gas 4 then remove bacon and increase to 6 to get the skin brown (basting every 10 minutes)
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Re: Roast Chicken - Timings.

Postby Gruney » April 10th, 2018, 9:59 am

Thanks Seatallan.
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Re: Roast Chicken - Timings.

Postby liketocook » April 10th, 2018, 11:55 am

I heat my oven to 220C (fan oven) then reduce to 180C before popping the chicken in, I do 18 minutes per 500g + 18 minutes. I cover for first 30 minutes then remove the foil. Then rest for 15-20 minutes.
If I've spatchcocked the chook I reduce the timings to 15 minutes per 500g + 15 minutes and don't cover it.
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Re: Roast Chicken - Timings.

Postby Gruney » April 10th, 2018, 1:15 pm

Thanks ltc. What is interesting, is that all the timings are well t & t, and thoroughly work, and yet the total time varies so much - from Simon Hopkins at maybe less than an hour, to others around the 2 hour mark. Time to have a bit of a play, I think.

Thanks again for all the tips - it was kind of you.
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Re: Roast Chicken - Timings.

Postby Zosherooney » April 10th, 2018, 7:36 pm

I nearly always wing it ! Yet, I always weigh cake ingredients ?

On roasting chicken..... I bought (reduced) a 'ready to just stick in the oven' birds. Hugely disappointed, it was so wet, we nearly wrung it out ! They guaranteed 'moist' but the actual meat was boringly tasteless. We won't get another. :|
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Re: Roast Chicken - Timings.

Postby StokeySue » April 10th, 2018, 9:28 pm

I think the variety of methods proposed shows that shoving it inthe oven and cooking until done is pretty reliable ;)

Having said which, I check "done" with a probe thermometer and the 20 min / lb + 20 minutes seems a bit much to me checked that way
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Re: Roast Chicken - Timings.

Postby Suelle » April 10th, 2018, 9:37 pm

Throwing a spanner in the works, I find that chickens cook faster than they used to. Whether that's because modern birds are different, or modern ovens are more efficient, I wouldn't like to speculate, but it might explain why recently published recipes differ from older ones.

Fortunately, chickens seem to be quite versatile, and will happily cook at a wide range of temperatures, which is useful if you want other things in the oven at the same time.

As StokeySue says - cook until done is the most reliable method. :) Just find what works best for you.
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Re: Roast Chicken - Timings.

Postby liketocook » April 11th, 2018, 9:00 am

Suelle wrote:Throwing a spanner in the works, I find that chickens cook faster than they used to. Whether that's because modern birds are different, or modern ovens are more efficient, I wouldn't like to speculate, but it might explain why recently published recipes differ from older ones.

Fortunately, chickens seem to be quite versatile, and will happily cook at a wide range of temperatures, which is useful if you want other things in the oven at the same time.

As StokeySue says - cook until done is the most reliable method. :) Just find what works best for you.

I think chickens are bred now to be bigger breasted and smaller legged which might explain why they do seem to cook faster these days.
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Re: Roast Chicken - Timings.

Postby StokeySue » April 11th, 2018, 9:33 am

I also had the impression that the instructions had changed to a shorter cooking time
And I think the French always cooked in a hotter oven for a shorter time than we did in the UK
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Re: Roast Chicken - Timings.

Postby Suelle » April 11th, 2018, 9:49 am

That sounds a reasonable explanation, liketocook! :)
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Re: Roast Chicken - Timings.

Postby Zosherooney » April 11th, 2018, 5:24 pm

A Bit like me then !!! :lol: :lol:

bigger breasted and smaller legged
:o :o :o
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Re: Roast Chicken - Timings.

Postby Meganthemog » April 12th, 2018, 8:54 am

Zosherooney wrote:I nearly always wing it ! Yet, I always weigh cake ingredients ?

On roasting chicken..... I bought (reduced) a 'ready to just stick in the oven' birds. Hugely disappointed, it was so wet, we nearly wrung it out ! They guaranteed 'moist' but the actual meat was boringly tasteless. We won't get another. :|


I find M&S chickens to be very wet and avoid them at all costs.
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Re: Roast Chicken - Timings.

Postby StokeySue » April 12th, 2018, 9:07 am

I used to quite like the Oakham chickens from M&S but haven't had one in a long time, but never buy the ready to roast ones in the trays, I think I too had one RTC once and didn't bother again
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Re: Roast Chicken - Timings.

Postby suffolk » April 12th, 2018, 9:28 am

I almost always roast chickens nowadays in an oval enamelled roaster with lid ... saves the oven getting in a mess for a start, and results in a lovely moist and tender bird. :chops:
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Re: Roast Chicken - Timings.

Postby Gruney » April 12th, 2018, 10:51 am

On a slight tangent - how long would you say it's safe to keep cooked chicken in the fridge?
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Re: Roast Chicken - Timings.

Postby Suelle » April 12th, 2018, 10:56 am

Gruney wrote:On a slight tangent - how long would you say it's safe to keep cooked chicken in the fridge?


No more than 3 days. I think that's the official line too.
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Re: Roast Chicken - Timings.

Postby Gruney » April 12th, 2018, 11:45 am

That should be fine - thanks.
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Re: Roast Chicken - Timings.

Postby Seatallan » April 12th, 2018, 12:02 pm

StokeySue wrote:I used to quite like the Oakham chickens from M&S


I think they're easily the best of the 'supermarket' chickens.
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Re: Roast Chicken - Timings.

Postby Busybee » April 12th, 2018, 12:38 pm

suffolk wrote:I almost always roast chickens nowadays in an oval enamelled roaster with lid ... saves the oven getting in a mess for a start, and results in a lovely moist and tender bird. :chops:


Snap Suffs, always use a roaster, but usually for about an hour and a half........I agree that chickens tend to cook quicker. In fact at Easter I roasted a 13lb turkey using a tried and tested method. It cooked perfectly in 2 hours 20. Basically stand the bird on a trivet of root veg, add a glass of white wine and an inch of boiling water, cover tightly with foil and cook on the hob for five minutes transfer to the oven, two hours later take the foil off and drain the juices to make the gravy, return bird to the oven for 15/20 minutes to brown the skin. Perfect every time.

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Re: Roast Chicken - Timings.

Postby earthmaiden » April 12th, 2018, 1:42 pm

Gruney wrote:On a slight tangent - how long would you say it's safe to keep cooked chicken in the fridge?

If you have any left after the recommended 3 days, it freezes well and the best bits can still be eaten as cold meat successfully when thawed.
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Re: Roast Chicken - Timings.

Postby Gruney » April 12th, 2018, 1:54 pm

earthmaiden wrote:
Gruney wrote:On a slight tangent - how long would you say it's safe to keep cooked chicken in the fridge?

If you have any left after the recommended 3 days, it freezes well and the best bits can still be eaten as cold meat successfully when thawed.


Oh that's valuable info, Earthmaiden, thanks - I had always believed you could really only successfully freeze cooked meat if it was in some sort of gravy.

I was a bit nervous about starting this thread, but I'm very glad I did.
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Re: Roast Chicken - Timings.

Postby earthmaiden » April 12th, 2018, 2:10 pm

Nervous? You're amongst friends. :lol: :lol:
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Re: Roast Chicken - Timings.

Postby Zosherooney » April 12th, 2018, 8:58 pm

I'll be honest, I have kept a cooked chicken in the fridge for longer than 3 days, and am still here to discuss the subject! One of my fridges is very cold.....but not at freezing temps. I know they all have some sort of dial but they are all different and vary from model to model....?
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Re: Roast Chicken - Timings.

Postby Meganthemog » April 13th, 2018, 9:27 am

Zosherooney wrote:I'll be honest, I have kept a cooked chicken in the fridge for longer than 3 days, and am still here to discuss the subject! One of my fridges is very cold.....but not at freezing temps. I know they all have some sort of dial but they are all different and vary from model to model....?


Me too - as long as it is kept covered in the fridge.
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Re: Roast Chicken - Timings.

Postby suffolk » April 13th, 2018, 10:09 am

As long as it's not wearing a fur coat it's game for me :hungry: ......... but I wouldn't feed it to anyone vulnerable of course.
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Re: Roast Chicken - Timings.

Postby earthmaiden » April 13th, 2018, 1:50 pm

I agree about keeping it for longer. In days gone by, the Christmas turkey or chicken would last the week - and not always in the fridge. Possibly not what should be recommended though!
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