#CookalongFriday – Chicken two ways!

Keith’s challenge for me this week was this:  Make one meal, get another one from the remains of the first.  This is always difficult in my household as we usually devour everything on the table and fight over the scraps.  However, by stretching the bounds a little, here we go…

Roast chicken followed by a spectacularly simple chicken soup.

Roast Chicken

For this, I use one of my favourite kitchen gadgets.  The Chicken Beer-roaster.  This is the technical evolution of the old “shove a can of beer up the chicken’s bum and stand it on the braai” school of cooking in South Africa.  I got mine from www.cookequip.co.uk but I’m sure others are available.  We were so impressed by this marvel that we bought several of them for Christmas presents last year.  All have been tried, sceptically, and then embraced.  You can, of course, roast your chicken on a tray, using a rotisserie, or whatever means you like.


  • 1 family roasting chicken.  Obviously.
  • Beer, for the beer-roaster.  The beer chosen does affect the taste of the chicken, you can use fruit juice if you like.
  • Flour, 1 or 2 tablespoons
  • Paprika and salt
  • Cumin seeds
  • Vegetables for roasting.  This leads into the chicken soup recipe, so you’ll need plenty…
    • Sweet potatoes, 4 or 5
    • Potatoes, 4 or 5
    • Shallots, small bag of, peeled.
    • Butternut squash, 1 medium
    • Whatever else takes your fancy – celery, leek, tomatoes, peppers of all colours, carrots, ask the kids!


  • Rub salt and paprika into the skin of the chicken
  • Chop the veg into 2-3cm cubes, peeling potatoes, sweet potatoes and squash.
  • Oven to 200C


From this:

IMAG0425 to this…


  1. Put the beer into the beer-roaster, put the chicken in pride of place (there’s a reason we call every chicken we roast “Roger”) and put it in the oven.  It’ll take 90 minutes to roast, so give yourself an hour on the timer and go do something else.
  2. When the timer goes off, spread the roast veg on a roasting tray or two (you want to make sure there’s plenty of leftovers for stage 2 later).
  3. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and cumin seeds.
  4. Open the oven, scoop some of the prepared veg into the tray around the base of the chicken, put the trays in where there’s space, close the door.  Give yourself 20 minutes on the timer and go play, set the table, that sort of thing.
  5. Remove the chicken and set on a rack to stand while you finish off.
  6. Put the beer and juices from the roaster into a small pan, add the flour and heat, stirring, until it thickens.  Best gravy you’ll get from a chicken!
  7. Serve up!

Chicken Soup

Taking the leftover vegetables and the bits of chicken that are hard to get off the carcass, you can make a very simple, superb soup.

The only extra ingredient you need is 2 pints of chicken stock.

  1. Into a large pan, put the chicken stock, the leftover roast vegetables, the leftover chicken bits and (if you’re lucky) some leftover gravy.
  2. With a hand blender, blitz the lot until smooth.
  3. Heat.

That’s it.  Dead simple chicken soup.  Chicken optional.  The more veg you’ve got left from the roast chicken, the better, and the more sweet potato there is in the leftover, the better.

Of course, you’ll need pudding to go with all this lovely stuff, and Keith’s got that covered over at the Diary of a Reluctant Housedad.  Enjoy!

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5 responses to “#CookalongFriday – Chicken two ways!”

  1. Like you it is difficult to get two meals from one in my family. Teenage boys tend to be bottomless pits!! I agree that Roast chicken is one of the easiest ways though. I love the sound of the beer roaster. Haven’t seen one one before, so thank you for that and I will certainly look out for one.
    I always use the chicken carcass to make my stock, covered in water with some seasoning and maybe some herbs. It can be done quickly in a pressure cooker, or on top of the stove in a big pot, or in the bottom oven in the Aga – delicious stock cooked overnight. Not only is it delicious and full of natural ingredients, you can also feel smug that it is homemade!!

    • I remember how much I used to be able to eat as a teenager! I’m actually scared for the shopping bill when mine hit that age. I may have to take on extra work just to cover the bread bill alone.

      My folks had an Aga for years, and the house I shared in Orpington had one as well. That bottom oven is a marvel for stews, stocks, slow roasts… My mouth is watering just thinking about it. If you do this with the carcass to make the stock you get such a superb quality of stock, better than anything I’ve bought in the shops.

      If you want to do beer roasted chicken on the barbecue, open a tin of beer, insert into chicken, then wrap the bottom half of the chicken in two or three layers of foil to stop it from burning. I suspect you might be able to do the same on the hot plate of the Aga…

    • Good luck with that! We bought them for 5 different people last Christmas and they’ve all loved them. The fact that you can roast spuds on them and it pretty much makes its own gravy is a real bonus. Proper 1-pot cooking.

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