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Mary Berry’s Two Roast Chickens With Scalloped Potatoes

Mary Berry's simple sharing roast chicken recipe with accompanying potato gratin is perfect for big family Sunday lunches.

From the book


So often sharing a roast is the best way to spend a Sunday and one chicken is never enough with hungry teenagers around, so try this simple recipe to share with the gang. Chicken is great value but always buy free-range. Get two large birds for those who have big appetites. The scalloped potatoes are cooked in the oven at the same time, which makes it even easier.

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2 (about 1.75kg/3lb 14oz each) oven-ready whole chickens
8 fresh bay leaves
Small bunch of sage leaves
1 large lemon, halved
55g (2oz) butter, softened
1 tbsp paprika
1 large bulb garlic, halved horizontally
150ml (¼ pint) white wine
300ml (½ pint) chicken stock
55g (2oz) plain flour
A little gravy browning (optional)
For the scalloped potatoes:
1.2kg (2lb 12oz) peeled potatoes, very thinly sliced into discs
1 onion, thinly sliced
55g (2oz) butter, cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing
600ml (1 pint) chicken stock

Essential kit

You will need: a 1.8 litre ovenproof dish.


Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas 6 and grease a shallow 1.8 litre ovenproof dish.

Place the chickens on a board. Place half the bay leaves, a third of the sage and a lemon half in the cavity of each bird.

Mix the butter and paprika together in a small bowl. Spread over the breasts of the birds and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Place the remaining sage, garlic, wine and stock into the base of a large roasting tin. Put a large grill rack on top and sit the chickens side by side on the rack.

To make the potato gratin, arrange a layer of sliced potato in the base of the prepared dish. Scatter the onion and a few cubes of butter over the top and pour in a little stock. Season well and repeat the layers, including the stock, finishing with a layer of potato. Cover the dish with buttered foil.

Slide the chickens on to the top shelf of the oven and the potatoes on the shelf below. Roast both for about 1½ hours, removing the foil from the potatoes after 45 minutes. Keep an eye on the chickens – if they are getting too brown, then cover with foil. Once the chickens are golden and cooked through, and the potatoes are tender, remove from the oven.

Cover the chickens and potatoes with foil and set aside while you make the gravy.

Strain the juices and stock from the roasting tin into a jug. Skim off as much fat as possible from the jug and reserve. You will need 450ml liquid from the roasting tin; add extra stock if you need to increase the amount.

Return the fat to the roasting tin and sprinkle in the flour. Stir over the heat for a few seconds, then whisk in the strained stock. Continue to whisk until thickened and smooth. Check the seasoning and add a little gravy browning, if liked.

Carve the chickens and serve with the potatoes, gravy and a green vegetable alongside.

Mary’s Tips: Best made and served. Not suitable for freezing. The herbs in the cavity give flavour.


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From the book: Mary Berry Cook and Share

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