Roast Chicken with Vegetables, Sage & Cider

by Martin Wishart

Main Easy ​​​​​​​ 4 ​​​​​​​ Prep/Cook: 1 hour 30 minutes


2kg free-range chicken

60g of unsalted butter, softened

30g of unsalted butter, cold and diced

2 Braeburn apples

1 large carrot

1 large parsnip

4 shallots, peeled and cut in half

400ml of dry cider

4 sage leaves


white pepper, freshly ground


1. Set the oven to 200°C/Gas mark 6. Cover the breasts and legs of the chicken with the soft butter, then season the chicken with salt and fresh ground white pepper

2. Peel, core and cut the apples into 2cm dice, then peel the carrot and parsnip and cut them into 1cm discs

3. Select a roasting tray big enough to accommodate the chicken and vegetables without crowding them. Place the chicken in the centre of the tray and arrange the apple, shallots, carrot and parsnip around the chicken

4. Pour the cider over the vegetables and place the tray in the oven

5. Roast the chicken for approximately 1 hour, so that the vegetables are tender and golden, and the chicken juices run clear when you prick the thigh with a fork. If the juices are not running clear, place back in the oven for 10 minute, intervals topping up the pan with a dash of water if the base is looking dry

6. Remove the chicken from the tray and place it on a large serving dish. Use a slotted spoon to carefully lift the vegetables from the tray and arrange them around the chicken

7. While the chicken rests, strain the cider and chicken juices through a fine sieve into a small pan, skimming off any grease from the surface. Place the pan on the hob and reduce the liquid to about 150ml then whisk in the cold butter

8. Roll the sage leaves into a tight bundle, cut them into fine strips then add to the sauce. Carve the chicken and serve with the vegetables and sauce