River Cottage 2009

River Cottage spit-roast chicken recipe

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall carves up a rotisserie chicken for an alternative Christmassy poultry dish

Serves 4-6


  • 1 large free range chicken (around 2kg)
  • Rapeseed oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


How to make River Cottage spit-roast chicken

1. Untruss the bird. Remove the giblets, if they are included (use to make potted giblets). Pull the legs a little away from the body to allow for thorough cooking.

2. Trickle a little rapeseed oil over the bird and scatter it generously with salt and pepper. Rub in this seasoning well all over.

3. Mount the chicken on a spit, securing it with cross-skewers.

4. Roast the bird over glowing coals for three hours, turning it one-eighth of a rotation every 5-10 minutes. Check that the bird is cooked by piercing it in the thickest part of the flesh, where the thigh meets the body. The juices should run clear with no trace of blood. If there is any blood, the bird is not cooked and needs to be cooked further. Once cooked, remove from the spit, leave to rest on a warmed dish for about 20 minutes, then carve and serve.

© River Cottage


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River Cottage recipes

River Cottage recipes

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall puts on a feast, hoping to transform lives towards the River Cottage way

Monday 21 December 2009
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