Roast Chicken & Other Stories

by Simon Hopkinson and Lindsey Bareham

from the publisher

‘There’s not a recipe here I don’t want to eat immediately.’ - Nigella Lawson

Roast Chicken and Other Stories provides an insight into Simon Hopkinson's unique style of unpretentious cooking with 160 of his favourite recipes. Simon Hopkinson's forty favourite ingredients include everyday basics as potatoes, chicken and cod as well as more exotic foods such as asparagus and truffles. The cookbook is arranged alphabetically with a chapter on each food. Unable to hide his great love of food, Hopkinson writes about why he likes each particular ingredient, and gives sensible advice on quality, variety and good cooking principles together with the recipes. The book is aimed at home cooks and all the recipes can be prepared by anyone with basic cooking skills. From Grilled Augergine with Pesto to Roast Chicken and Homemade Ice Cream, Simon Hopkinson's food is always honest and inviting, designed to please rather than simply to impress.

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Original Publisher
Ebury Press
Date of publication

Recommended by

Michele Cranston

Food stylist and magazine food editor

I'm not sure if it's the name, combining two of my favourite passions or the lovely tone of the writing, which is all about celebrating wonderful chefs and great food, but this is definitely a book I can pick up over and over again and always find a small gem of a recipe that I had maybe forgotten. Whether its the perfect chocolate tart, a wonderful coriander sauce or a delicious aubergine salad, this is a book that always inspires and makes me smile.

Lucy Malouf

Food writer and editor

I love a book that’s arranged by ingredient, particularly one that speaks volumes about it’s author’s personal passions – in this case, a distinctly European sensibility. Hopkinson’s recipes are neither innovative nor clever-clever, but they are proper, accessible food that I just always want to cook. I think this is one of the most comforting and engaging books in my library.

Tom Parker Bowles

Restaurant Critic, Food Writer and Broadcaster

Hopkinson's prose is every bit the equal of his culinary skills, and I read this book again and again. He's a traditional cook, and has little time for erraneous modern fiddles and embellishments. But the recipes are suberb, and his words have a soft lyrical charm. He's a good mate, but that makes no difference. This is a great British classic.

Danny Kingston

Food blogger, writer and general witterer

Lots of food lovers revere Simon Hopkinson but hand on heart, I only discovered him when I found a copy of this book in a charity shop. With captivating preludes on specific ingredients, his style is warm to read without being too cloying. His recipes really work too. I am a particular fan of his olive oil mash.

Francis Percival

Food Editor, The World of Fine Wine and co-founder and convenor of the London Gastronomy Seminars

More than anyone else, Simon Hopkinson captured and synthesised the spirit of the Elizabeth David generation, but repackaged it into expertly-crafted and thoroughly reliable recipes. I bought a copy of this with some prize money that I won at University when I was twenty years old and it changed my life.

Annie Bell

Food writer

This captures the spirit of retro cooking, with a glamour and panache that no other cooks can match. Together these authors gave a new sense of heritage to traditional dishes, that might otherwise have disappeared. It was the start of an ongoing trend, but they were the originators.

Cheryl Cohen

Farmer's market organizer

I’m nervous of books by ‘top chefs’ where the list of ingredients is as long as the cooking method. This is about home cooking and all the better for it. With chapters headed by his favourite ingredients, the book feels warm and personable and is easy to love.

Jacqui Pickles


Quite honestly anything written by Simon Hopkinson, although I particularly like the ingredient-led chapters here. I relate to so much of what he says as I seem to coincide with so many aspects of his background and time when he was in restaurants.

Jenny Linford

Food writer

A cookbook which always makes me hungry. Wonderful evocative writing on ingredients as diverse as pork pieces and cream, with Hopkinson's masterly recipes. A culinary masterpiece.

Henry Herbert

Retail Director, Hobbs House Bakery

I loved this book, how even the introductions to a recipe would give insight into another way of cooking a certain dish. It keeps on giving and I love it for that.

Graham Garrett

Chef and owner of The West House

I remember thinking how clever it was to do a book of favourite ingredients recipes from A-Z Great recipes that make you want to eat as well as cook.

Ken Hom


This is a real foodie book from a master chef who knows how to convey his love of food through not only recipes but his passion of eating as well.

Skye Gyngell

Chef and Author

I think Simon Hopkinson is one of the best food writers around! And Roast chicken is full of lovely recipes that you really want to eat.

Nigella Lawson

Author, journalist, broadcaster and television personality

Recipes are not mere formulae: they need to tell a story about who we are. And this book does just that - and with such charm.

Jennifer McLagan


Another ingredient based book by the wonderful Hopkinson. I love all his books but this was the first one I read.

Sandy Jarvis

Head Chef & partner at The Culpeper

Because it was the book that my brother bought me that made me realise food was my life.

Alistair Cameron

Coordinator for England of the Slow Food Chef Alliance and Ark of Taste

Practical, opinionated and entertaining. Cookbooks are best when they're a good read.

Tom Norrington-Davies


One of a handful of almost compuslory "textbooks" for chefs of my generation!

Anna Koska


A completely wonderful, relaxed approach to simple, satisfying un gushy food.

Rachel Roddy

Food writer and blogger

A perfect balance of stories and wonderful recipes I want to eat, that work.

Andi Oliver


Simple beautiful recipes that make you hungry every time you read it

Anthony Warner

Chef and author

An explanation of why simply cookery is by far the most enjoyable.

Gill Meller


Unique and inspirational for everyone who loves real food.

Fiona Burrell

Founder, Edinburgh New Town Cookery School

As well as having good recipes this book is a good read.

Lucy McDonald

Writer and broadcaster

An elegant and beautiful written book.

Willie Lebus

Director Bibendum Wine

The Bread Sauce recipe!

Fergus Henderson


He’s simply brilliant.

Lotte Duncan

Food presenter, writer and eater

A classic.

Gary Rhodes

Chef, restaurateur, author

Nathan Outlaw


Jill Norman

Author and editor

Thomasina Miers

Founder of Wahaca, chef and writer

Will Beckett

Co-founder of Hawksmoor

Jeremy Lee

Executive Chef Patron, Quo Vadis, Soho

Sarah Randell

Food writer and marmalade producer

John Ashburne

Writer, editor and photographer

Colman Andrews

Food writer and editor

Christopher Hirst

Food journalist and restaurant critic

Lucas Hollweg

Food writer

Kevin Gould

Professional Food Lover

Neale Whitaker

Editor in Chief for Vogue Living Australia and judge on The Block

Belinda Jeffery

Cookbook author

Tom Kerridge

Owner/Chef Patron of The Hand and Flowers and The Coach, Marlow

Bob Hart


Harry Lester

Cook and restaurateur

Daniel Doherty

Executive chef, Duck & Waffle

Bruce Palling


Lizzie Mabbott

Author of 'Chinatown Kitchen' and Hollow Legs

Thane Prince

Author and writer

Karen Barnes

Editor, Delicious magazine

Philip Howard

Chef and Owner, The Square

Barry Smith


Martine Carter

Director, Sauce Management

Mark Diacono

Food Writer

Mark Hix

Chef, restaurateur and food writer

Sudi Pigott

Food and travel writer

Xanthe Clay

Food writer and Daily Telegraph columnist

Jay Rayner

Food writer and broadcaster

Megan Elias

Culinary historian

Donald Sloan

Head of the Oxford School of Hospitality Management and Founder of Oxford Gastronomica

Theo Randall

Chef/Patron of Theo Randall at the InterContinental

Ian James

Co-founder of Melrose and Morgan

Tom Conran


Sheila Dillon

Food journalist

Andy Hayler

Restaurant critic

Sue Carter

Oenophile and Home Cook

Mina Holland

Author and Editor

Ben Norum

Food and drink writer

Ed Mottershaw

Head Chef, The Eagle Farringdon