Mary O’Ds Roast Chicken

Mary O’Ds Roast Chicken

Mary O’Ds Roast Chicken
Our favourite staple dish growing up. My mother cooked ritualistically, in the sense that it was chipper Friday night, Roast Beef Sunday, Bacon and Cabbage and Irish Stew thrown in midweek. Feed yourselves Saturday. 
When she made roast chicken though I would get so excited, and she knew it! 
It then became a reward dish. If I won something in sport or school - Roast Chicken. It was also a bribe dish, be good and I’ll make you roast chicken. 
When I came home from London to visit it was always cooked that night.
People always think it’s boring when I say Roast Chicken is my death row meal, but it’s so delicious and brings back so many happy memories it is definitely my favourite dish of all time.
Serves 4
Wine Pairing 


For the chicken

  • 1 whole chicken, 1.5kg to 2kg
  • 50g butter
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon halved
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 whole garlic halved through the middle
  • 3 whole sprigs rosemary
  • Small bunch thyme
  • 2 carrots roughly chopped
  • 2 onions roughly chopped
  • 250ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp plain flour

Creamy Mash

  • 6 large spuds, peeled, we use marris piper
  • 100ml milk
  • 75g butter
  • 2 tbsp chives (Optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

Roast Potatoes

  • 1 kg spuds
  • 100g duck fat
  • 2 tsp flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

Honey Roast Carrots 

  • 450g carrots, peeled (Add parsnips if you like)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Handful of chopped parsley

We then also just add some broccoli stems simply blanched in boiling water.



  1. Preheat your oven to 200 celsius if fan or 220 if not.
  2. Melt your butter in a pan. 
  3. Mix with olive oil and juice of half a lemon.
  4. Pour over chicken, rub into and under skin and into the cavity.
  5. Season well with salt and pepper all over and inside the cavity.
  6. Sprinkle over your parsley.
  7. Rub your chopped garlic all over the chicken now too, getting under the skin again also.
  8. Stuff your garlic head into the cavity along with the half lemon you already squeezed and the rosemary and thyme.
  9. Tie the legs together if you have string, don’t worry if you don’t.
  10. In a roasting tray, scatter the chopped carrots and onion around.
  11. Sit the chicken on the vegetables.
  12. Place in the oven and leave for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  13. Baste the chicken half way through.
  14. To check it's cooked, gently pierce the chicken and the juices should run clear.
  15. While the chicken is cooking we start with the roasties. 
  16.  Peel and rinse potatoes in cold water.
  17. Cut potatoes into the size you want for roasties.
  18. Place in a pot and fill with cold water.
  19. Add a good sprinkle of salt and bring to the boil.
  20. Meanwhile, Put another roasting tray in the oven to heat.
  21. As soon as they’re boiling, add your 1/2 tsp baking powder, lower the heat and simmer for 12 minutes.
  22. You should be able to easily pierce with a fork.
  23. Better to be soft than hard also, remember that. 
  24. Remove tray and put your duck fat onto the tray and pop it back in the oven.
  25. Drain your spuds in a colander and shake around well to fluff them up.
  26. Cover with a towel and leave in the colander for about 8 minutes.
  27. Sprinkle your flour on the spuds and shake well again.
  28. Remove your tray of fat and place potatoes on the tray.
  29. Roll them suckers in the fat so they’re finely coated. 
  30. Spread them out and pop them back in the oven.
  31. Leave them for 15 minutes then turn them over for another 15.
  32. Turn them once more and cook for the last 15 minutes.
  33. Prepare your carrots.
  34. Line a tray with tin foil.
  35. Mix your olive oil, honey, salt and pepper in a bowl.
  36. Place your carrots on the tray.
  37. Cover with the honey mix and toss back and forth so they are finely coated. Must be coated very well so they don't dry out. 
  38. Place in the oven and cook for 10 minutes.
  39. Toss around the tray again giving them a good roll.
  40. Cook a further 10 minutes and toss again.
  41. Leave back in the oven a further 5 minutes. 
  42. Mashed potatoes.
  43. Peel your spuds and cut them into equal sizes.
  44. Place in a pot of cold salted water.
  45. Bring to a boil and cook for about 25 minutes.
  46. Check that they pierce easily with a fork.
  47.  Drain well.
  48. Grab your masher and begin mashing them up.
  49. Add your butter and mash and mix well.
  50. Slowly add your milk and continue mashing and mixing until you have the texture you like.
  51. Add salt and pepper to taste, be generous.
  52. Add your chopped chives and mix well.
  53. Hopefully having timed everything well, we remove the chicken from the oven, baste again and  rest for 10 minutes under tin foil while the carrots and roasties are finishing.
  54. Keep all the juices in the roasting tray and allow any juices pour from the cavity of the chicken into the tray.
  55. We then make our gravy. 
  56. Place the roasting tray over low heat. 
  57. Stir in 1 tbsp flour and sizzle.
  58. Gradually pour in our 250ml chicken stock, stirring constantly until we have a nice thick gravy.
  59. Simmer for 2 minutes, scraping any bits from the bottom of the tray.
  60. Strain into a small saucepan.
  61. Leave on low heat to keep warm.
  62. Submerge your broccoli in a pan of cold salted water and blanch until cooked but still crunchy..
  63. Strain and set aside.
  64. Remove roasties from the oven and garnish with salt and rosemary.
  65. Remove carrots from the oven and toss one last time. 
  66. Dress with chopped parsley. 
  67. That's everything cooked so serve how you like it.
  68. You can put each element into large serving dishes and let people help themselves or you can plate up individually.
  69. But yes you must carve the chicken.