Make light work of your roast dinner this Sunday or in fact any day of the week with this quick, easy and delicious two course meal that the family will love by Dinner Like a Boss author Katy Holder.

As a food writer, stylist and mum of boys Katy knows a thing or two about creating quick, easy and health meals for busy families. Dinner Like a Boss is a collection of her tried-and-tested family favourites that offers easy-to-follow instructions, tips on encouraging children to try something new, how to build the perfect store cupboard so you can rustle up fuss-free family meals in minutes and most importantly home-cooked meals that will actually get eaten!

Ready for the tastiest Roast Chicken with a Orange Butter Rub followed by a fruity crumble? Then read on...

Roast Chicken with Orange Butter Rub, Roasted Vegetables and Creamy Gravy

Our family absolutely loves roast chicken and I love cooking it! Yes, there might be a few different components to prepare and, yes, it might all get gobbled up in less than 10 minutes, but it’s warming, nurturing food that fills the house with delicious cooking smells. Don’t be put off by the parsnips; I think kids like them because they are sweet, so they’re worth trying with your family.

Crunchy Fruit Crumble

Desserts aren’t served nearly as frequently as they were in the past, but there is still a place at the table for a fairly healthy and delicious fruit crumble. I’ve given options for various fruits, so you can make this whatever the season. It’s also worth buying fruit at the height of its season – when it’s usually at its best and cheapest – and freezing some. I add nuts to the crumble for added crunch, but they are optional. I also simplify the crumble and stir in melted butter, rather than having to rub in cold butter with your fingertips.


For the roast chicken

  • 1 orange
  • 30g softened butter
  • 1, about 1.2–1.5kg whole chicken preferably free-range
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 onion cut into wedges
  • 255g frozen peas
  • 1tbsp Plain flour
  • 80-125ml single cream
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 3-4, about 450–500g medium parsnips cut into long wedges and cored
  • 4 medium carrots quartered lengthways, then cut in half to make batons
  • 800g waxy or salad potatoes cut in half, larger ones quartered
  • 4 cloves of garlic unpeeled

For the crumble

  • your choice of fruit (see fruit options below)
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 100g Unsalted butter
  • 150g Plain flour
  • 75g wholemeal flour
  • 100g rolled (porridge) oats
  • 45g dark brown sugar lightly packed
  • ½tsp ground cinnamon
  • 30g slivered almonds
  • vanilla ice cream or cream (pouring/single/light) to serve


For the chicken

  • STEP 1

    Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F)/180°C (350°F) fan forced. Take two flameproof roasting dishes and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to one for the roasted vegetables. Put both dishes in the oven while the oven is heating. Bring a medium saucepan of water to the boil for the parsnips (if using).

  • STEP 2

    For the chicken, finely grate the zest from the orange and combine it with the softened butter in a small dish. Season with salt and pepper. Cut the orange in half. Squeeze the juice from one orange half and cut the other half into two pieces. Using clean fingers, carefully loosen the skin from around the chicken breast (without splitting the skin). Do this by gently wiggling your fingers between the breast and the skin. Spread half the butter between the flesh and the skin. Spread the remaining butter over the outside of the breast and on the legs. Put the orange pieces and half the thyme inside the chicken cavity.

  • STEP 3

    Remove the dish without the oil from the oven and put the chicken inside. Arrange the onion around the outside and add the remaining thyme. Add the orange juice and 250 ml (81/2 fl oz/1 cup) of water. Roast for 1 hour–1 hour 20 minutes, depending on the weight, spooning the pan juices over the chicken about every 15 minutes and adding up to an extra 250 ml (81/2 fl oz/1 cup) of water if the pan juices evaporate too quickly.

  • STEP 4

    Meanwhile, for the roasted vegetables, cook the parsnips for 2–3 minutes in the boiling water. Drain well. Put the parsnips, carrots and potatoes in the pre-heated dish withthe garlic cloves. Season with salt and toss to combine. Roast for 45 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice during cooking.

  • STEP 5

    Once the chicken is cooked – to check, pierce the thigh and check the juices run clear with no sign of pink – transfer it to a warm plate and cover it with foil. Reserve the juices in the roasting dish.

    If the vegetables are still roasting, increase the heat by 20°C (70°F) to help brown them. Bring a medium saucepan of water to the boil for the peas. To make the gravy, place the chicken roasting dish over a low heat and whisk in the flour, stirring to prevent any lumps. Stir in the cream (the exact amount will depend on how thick you like your gravy) and bring to the boil. Simmer for 2 minutes.

  • STEP 6

    Cook the peas for 2–3 minutes, or until tender, then drain. Carve the chicken and serve it accompanied by the roasted vegetables, peas and gravy.

    Note When I make the gravy for this dish I don’t skim off the fat, because this will mean removing all the delicious orange butter as well.

For the crumble

  • STEP 1

    Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F)/170°C (340°F) fan forced. For the crumble topping, melt the butter. In a large bowl combine the flours, oats, sugar, cinnamon and almonds (if using) until well mixed. Add the melted butter and stir it in until it is evenly distributed. Squash any big lumps with your fingers.

  • STEP 2

    Prepare your chosen fruit. If you are using apples, put them in a medium saucepan with 2 tablespoons of water and the orange juice and simmer gently for 5–10 minutes, until they start to soften. If you are using pears that are particularly hard, you might like to cook them in the same way to soften them.

  • STEP 3

    Arrange the fruit in the base of a 1.5 litre (51 fl oz/6 cup) capacity ovenproof dish and drizzle over the orange juice, if not already used to soften the fruit. Evenly scatter over the crumble topping. Place the dish on a baking tray and bake for 30–40 minutes, or until the harder fruits, such as apples and pears, are tender.

  • STEP 4

    Let the crumble sit for 5 minutes, then serve accompanied by ice cream or cream.

Sunday lunch made easy: a 2-course meal for all the family

Fruit options:

Apple and blackberry: Use 4 cored and sliced or diced apples (peeled or unpeeled) and 125 g (4½ oz) blackberries.

Stone fruit: Use 6 stoned and sliced nectarines or peaches, or 10 stoned and sliced plums or apricots.

Pear and blueberry: Use 4 cored, sliced or diced ripe pears and 125 g (4½ oz) blueberries.

Mixed berries: Use about 700 g (1 lb 9 oz) of a mix of strawberries (quartered), raspberries and blueberries (or use defrosted frozen mixed berries).

Dinner Like a Boss Cover

Dinner Like a Boss by Katy Holder (Hardie Grant, £12.99) Photography © Benito Martin.