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Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times

Can a roast chicken recipe be ‘wonderfully simple’? Michelin-starred chef thinks so

UK-based chef and restaurateur Angela Hartnett has released her first cookbook in the U.S. (Jonathan Lovekin)

Entertaining guests is an art form. And it can be intimidating. But United Kingdom-based chef and restaurateur Angela Hartnett can help.

Hartnett, a protegee of Gordon Ramsay, has released her first cookbook in the U.S. with more than 100 recipes — all geared toward hosting at home. “The Weekend Cook: Good Food for Real Life” hit shelves last week (Bloomsbury Absolute, 288 pp). 

The book includes recipes meant for gathering with friends and family inspired by Hartnett’s own community and is meant to help readers share meals with their own loved ones. 

(Courtesy Bloomsbury)

Stanley Tucci, actor and author of multiple cookbooks himself, says the book is “everything one wants in a cookbook,” according to a press release.

Roast chicken is a home-cooked classic and one of the recipes featured in the new cookbook caught our eye: “Neil’s Sunday Chicken,” named for the chef’s husband, Neil Borthwick.

In “The Weekend Cook” Hartnett, who heads up Michelin starred modern Italian restaurant Murano in London, writes that for a while, she and her family found themselves having roast chicken for lunch each Sunday. 

“It got to the stage when even my sister, who comes over a lot, said that it was becoming ridiculous and ‘can we have something else for a change’,” Hartnett writes. “But our roast chicken is delicious and this is a wonderfully simple way to cook it.”

In sharing the recipe in her new cookbook, Hartnett adds that if you want to alter the recipe a bit, you can. “For something a bit different and Moroccan in feel you could add some preserved lemon and coat the chicken in harissa, and use more onion and garlic and fewer carrots,” she writes.

‘Neil’s Sunday Chicken’

Chef Angela Hartnett’s recipe for “Neil’s Sunday Chicken” (Jonathan Lovekin/Courtesy Bloomsbury)


  • 1 chicken, with the skin still on, sectioned into 9 pieces 
  • Olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of salted butter
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 2 onions, peeled and quartered 
  • 3 celery sticks, cut into large chunks
  • 1 bulb of garlic, smashed
  • A few rosemary sprigs 
  • 1 lemon, cut into quarters 
  • Handful of flat-leaf parsley, chop leaves and stems 
  • Sea salt
  • Ground black pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Season the chicken pieces all over with salt and pepper and set aside.

3. Heat a touch of oil and the butter in a large pan over a medium heat. When the butter starts to bubble, add the chicken skin-side downwards and sear for 10 minutes, until golden brown and crispy. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

4. Pour a good dash of olive oil into a large roasting dish. Add all the vegetables, including the smashed garlic bulb, season with salt and pepper, and add the rosemary sprigs and lemon quarters. Place the chicken on top.

5. Roast for 50 minutes, until the chicken and vegetables are cooked through, then allow to rest for 10 minutes and finish with the chopped parsley. To serve, take the roasting dish to the table and allow everyone to help themselves. 


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