The Modeltypeface Kitchen: Your Basic Chicken Roast!

When I told my boyfriend I was going to write a post on how to make a roast dinner, he made a face and went, “Everyone knows how to make a roast dinner!” And I made a face back that said…”Yeah I know right!” But inside I was remembering when I went to uni and didn’t know how to boil an egg. Or when I went to Paris, I just made cous cous with 96 cent tomato paste stirred in and snacked on sponge fingers.

I want to arm my Modeltypeface readers with the most basic, nutritious and simple meals that they can assemble in any part of the world. For when we haven’t been paid in 2 months and can’t afford fancy shmancy Whole Foods ingredients, or for when the kitchen in the model apartment has one tiny oven and two hobs between 6 girls.

So, for everyone rustling up raw tortes and sprouting snacks on a daily basis, I won’t be offended if you click away and read Hemsley and Hemsley. For the rest of you, here is my recipe for a basic roast. Why is it so important?

– It’s cheap. My chicken bumps up the price, because I buy free range and, preferably, organic chicken from my local family butcher, because I saw this video…

…And I’d like my chicken to have had a nice life. But the rest is just veg, and if you get it from a market (a great way to see a city) this will keep the cost mega low.

– It’s economical, because you can make soup/stock from the carcass, making it last even longer.

– You can make one roast last you for days, even a whole week.

– Or you can share your roast and make great friends in your apartment. Models were always impressed with other models who could cook and look after themselves.

– A roast is comforting, nutritious, healthy and can be very light if you avoid starchy veg.

Here we go!


1 Chicken
3 onions
4 bulbs garlic
4 lemons
Veg such as: leeks, sweet potato, potato, parsnips, carrots, swede, celeriac.
LOADS of herbs: I like rosemary and thyme, but go for what you can find. Parsley, coriander, sage – it all works!
Stuff to drizzle on the chicken: olive oil (the Mediterranean way), butter (the fatty-person way and my personal fave) Coconut oil (the healthiest), balsamic vinegar (highly recommended) and/or honey (gives it a sweet crisp).


Heat oven to the highest temperature.

Cut up the veg and arrange on the bottom of a large baking tray
Squeeze 2 of the lemons over the veg and retain the skins.
Sprinkle with some of the herbs, season
Place the chicken on top of the vegetables, so that the juices run into the veg and the veg steams into the chicken and keeps it moist.
Squeeze the remaining lemons onto the chicken, then put as many of the discarded lemon skins up the chicken’s bum as you can (sorry chicken).
Drizzle with your choice of drizzle – I like a mix of oil, balsamic and honey, but if I’m feeling naughty I’ll dot it with knobs (hehe) of butter.

Cover with foil, giving the chicken room, and make sure you tighten the foil around the sides of the tray to trap in moisture.

Put in the oven. After 10 mins, lower oven temp to around 18o degrees Celsius.
Leave the chicken for an hour.
After an hour, start getting the tray out of the oven and basting the chicken – this is using a spoon to pour the juices on the tray over the chicken and keep it moist.

After 1 – 1.5 hours, remove the chicken and delight in it’s glory. Cut up and serve with the veg and some sliced raw red cabbage or fennel.

Use the juices as a gravy, and if you want it thicker pour it into saucepan, heat on high and whisk in some arrowroot.


Rebecca x

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  1. I’ve always been ok at cooking and I remember being in a model apartment in Paris cooking pork chops and veg and the other girls being fascinated that I knew how to cook, even when I did a jacket potato with cheese, some girls were impressed, so this is a good tip for a one pan yummy dinner! Well done lovely x

    • modeltypeface wrote:

      I’d have been one of those girls admiring you Louise! It’s amazing with cooking – once you start, you realise how easy it is – but before you start, it looks so complicated!

      The best thing to remember is that you can’t really go wrong. If it’s got onions, garlic and tomatoes in it, it’ll be tasty!

  2. margie wrote:

    That’s so true, cooking is so much easier than people think!

    And once you’ve started, it will make you feel a little like a magician.


    • modeltypeface wrote:

      Exactly! I wish I could make more people cook, because, having come to it so late, I understand why they feel they can’t do it.

      And I understand how exciting, liberating and nourishing for the body and soul it is from the very first meal you make! x

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