Roast chicken with chicken juice rice and orange and onion salad recipe

his chicken takes a bit of time, but it’s very much worth the wait - Sophie Davidson
his chicken takes a bit of time, but it’s very much worth the wait - Sophie Davidson

‘I’m roasting a chicken.’ There is surely nothing nicer than getting that text when you’re on your way over to someone’s house for dinner. This chicken takes a bit of time, but it’s very much worth the wait.

Slow roasting will ensure the sweet marinade doesn’t catch too early and the bird stays juicy. Then, while it is resting, you’ll cook basmati in all the buttery juices and a slosh of white wine to make a kind of pilau. A little pomegranate molasses and a salad with more orange, mint and soused onion brings it all together.


Prep time: 25 minutes, plus chilling

Cook time: 3 hours


Four with leftovers


For the chicken

  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard

  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard

  • 1 tbsp soft light-brown sugar

  • 1 tsp fennel seeds

  • 2 large garlic cloves, grated

  • zest and juice of 2 oranges

  • 1 medium chicken (about 1.3kg)

  • 80g butter, softened

  • 2 red onions, peeled and cut into wedges

  • 1 large cinnamon stick

  • 4 bay leaves, torn down the stem

  • 600ml white wine or dry sherry

  • 370g basmati rice

  • 135g currants

  • a little pomegranate molasses, for drizzling

  • seasoned natural or Greek yogurt, to serve

For the salad

  • 1 red onion, finely sliced

  • 2 tbsp red-wine vinegar

  • 3 oranges

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 tsp runny honey

  • a big handful of mint, leaves picked

  • a pinch of sumac


1. First, make the marinade. Put both mustards, brown sugar, fennel seeds, garlic and one teaspoon of coarse salt in a bowl. Use a large fork to mash everything together. Add the orange zest and juice.

2. Put the chicken breast-side up in a roasting tin. Pour over the mustard mixture, rubbing it into the crevices and cavity.

3. Cover the tin and put it in the fridge for at least 4 hours. When you’re closer to roasting, leave the chicken to sit out for 40 minutes. Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas mark 7.

4. Uncover the chicken and use your fingers to smear the softened butter on to the chicken skin. It’ll be messy but just try to cram as much butter between the wings and on top of the bird as you can. Add the red onion wedges, cinnamon stick and bay leaves to the tin.

5. Put the chicken in the oven and immediately turn the heat down to 150C/130C fan/gas mark 2. Roast the chicken for one hour, then remove it and add 150ml of the white wine. Return the chicken to the oven for another hour, basting occasionally with the juices. Then, take the roasting tin out again and add another 150ml of wine. Return it to the oven and roast the chicken for a final 30 minutes, until it’s cooked through. Test this by sticking a small knife between one of the legs and the breast – the leg should easily pull away at the join and the juices should run clear – and the skin will be beautifully browned.

6. While the chicken is cooking, start the salad. Put the red onion slices in a bowl with the red-wine vinegar and a good seasoning of salt. Scrunch the onion with your fingers, cover and leave it to sit for 30 minutes. Soak the rice in cold water. Transfer the chicken to a warm serving dish, first tipping it on its end to pour all the juices into the roasting tin. Leave the onions, cinnamon, bay and juices in the tin. Turn the oven heat down and warm a deep serving dish for the rice.

7. Put the roasting tin on the hob over a low heat. Pour in the remaining wine and simmer for one minute. Pour in 750ml of water and add a good seasoning of salt and let the liquid bubble up for a minute. Drain the rice and add it to the tin, along with the currants. Stir – the rice should be covered with liquid.

8. Cover the roasting tin tightly with foil and turn the heat under the tin down as low as you can. Cook the rice for 25 minutes, then turn the heat off and leave it to sit, covered, for five minutes, until completely tender. Take off the foil and fluff up the rice with a fork. Transfer it to your warm serving dish and drizzle over a little pomegranate molasses.

9. While the rice is cooking, finish the salad. Using a small knife, slice the top and bottom off each of the oranges. Then slice the peel and pith off from end to end. Thinly slice the oranges and lay them on a serving plate. Scatter over the onions, leaving the vinegar in the bowl. Whisk the olive oil and honey into the vinegar to make a dressing and pour this over the oranges and onion. Scatter over the mint and sprinkle on the sumac.

10. Carve the chicken and let everyone help themselves to rice, salad, and a dollop of yogurt.

Recipe from The Art of Friday Night Dinner, by Eleanor Steafel, out on 30 March (Bloomsbury, £26)