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How To Make A Whole Chicken Fall Off The Bones

October 2, 2014

I  buy a small (1.3kg) chicken from Aldi about once a week. They’re cheap, flavorful, and the perfect size to feed the three of us for at least two meals.

Given the number of chickens I’ve purchased over the last couple of years it’s no wonder I’ve got the roasting process mastered and for almost no effort at all I get a perfectly roasted bird that literally falls apart when it’s finished cooking.  the secret to my success is an oven roasting bag.

Below I’ve illustrated the process with lots of photos. Prep time = 5 mins … roasting time 90 minutes for a small chicken. 



1 small chicken


Seasoning of your choice

Oven roasting bag


First of all I’m going to reiterate that this process is for a small 1.3kg (almost 3lbs) chicken. I haven’t experimented with larger birds because I haven’t needed to but when and if I do I’ll update this space as larger birds will clearly require lengthened cooking times.


Preheat the oven to 190c (350f)

All you need to do to prep the chicken is season the skin however you like. You could also choose not to season it at all if you prefer, but I like to usually rub it all over with a Knorr chicken stock pot.

Knorr stock pots are wonderful for seasoning because they add the perfect amount of salt and flavor and all of the juices that drip down into the bag will be pre-seasoned to create a perfect stock for soup or gravy.


You can season before or after you put it in the bag. Seasoning before makes it a bit slimy getting the chicken in the bag but you run the risk of damaging the roasting bag if you do it after. For this chicken I put a stock pot on before and a gravy pot on after.

Oven roasting bags are readily available in most grocery stores. The small size will barely accommodate a small chicken and the next size up in most places is a turkey bag which is gigantic, but you can cut it down to whatever size you need.


I prefer to put the whole lot in a roasting pan rather than on a sheet pan just in case the bag springs a leak and the juices try to drip all over my oven. The roasting pan also makes the extraction of the chicken and juices a lot easier.

Getting the bird in the bag isn’t an exact science but it’s not brain surgery either. Just remember to be gentle as the plastic can tear.  Before I close the bag I add in between 1/2 and 1 cup of water (terrible for not measuring).

If your hands are too slippery to get the tie done up then just use a couple of little pieces of paper towel to grip the ends with.

DO NOT poke steam vents in the bag. If you poke holes in the bag you’re defeating the purpose of cooking in a bag.


Make sure that the chicken goes in the middle of the oven and that the plastic isn’t touching the heating elements or any other oven racks. The bag will usually inflate while it cooks.

Pop the chicken in the preheated oven for 90 minutes and it will come out perfectly. If you’re paranoid about it being under-cooked you can poke a thermometer into the meat (thickest part of breast). Safely cooked chicken should read at least 74C (165F).


Once you take the whole lot out of the oven  you can cut the bag open with a sharp knife or scissors and remove the bird. The photo above shows my chicken before I cut his strings.


This photo shows you what happened after I cut the strings… each piece of meat came away from the central carcass with a little wiggle and I didn’t have to use a knife at all. The rest of the bones also came away with a little twist, leaving the meat behind. It was juicy and pretty damn near perfect.

I get this result every single time consistently with the roasting bag and a little added water.


So there you go. Perfect, delicious roasted chicken that falls right off of the bones with almost no effort.


From → Main Courses, Recipes

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