[Learning to Cook]: RM 4.25 Per Meal Roast Chicken & Potatoes

No matter how many YouTube videos I watch for a recipe, it never turns out the way I want it when I try it out.

There’s plenty of steps in between that’s often missed out. Fellas, this article will share my experience learning how to cook as a bachelor trying to save money on food.


Fresh Ingredients for 1 PortionPrice
Chicken thighs with skinRM 3 to RM 4
PotatoesRM 1
2 CarrotsRM 0.25

Spices & stuff you should already have in your kitchen:


Boil the Potatoes

Peel, cut, and boiled the potatoes in seasoned (salt) water for about 8 mins. For reference, 10 minutes was too long. It became mashed potatoes.

Drain the potatoes and place them in a mixing bowl and rough them up.

Infuse Oil With Garlic & Rosemary

Finely chop garlic and fry in olive oil with rosemary leaves on medium heat until golden brown.

Separate the fried garlic into a different bowl and pour the infused oil on the boiled potatoes.

Toss Everything Together

Add seasonings – salt, pepper & smoked paprika powder & toss everything together.

Crisp the Chicken on the Stove Top

Cook the marinated chicken skin side down on medium-high heat for about 5 mins. The skin should be brown and about 75% done.

Flip the chicken and let it cook for about 3 mins only. Don’t overcook the flesh part of the chicken.

Place Everything on the Baking Tray

Preheat the oven to 200C, convection setting, top and bottom for 10 minutes.

Line up the baking tray with aluminum foil and space out the potatoes, cut carrots and chicken (skin side down).

Bake everything for 30 mins. Then flip everything, and continue baking for another 15 mins or when you think the chicken is done.

Usually, the potatoes take longer to crisp up, so after removing the chicken, place the potatoes back until you’re satisfied with the crispiness.

What I’ve Learned in this Cooking Attempt

Overall, an awesome outcome for my first attempt to use my oven and meal prep

  • It’s still OK to use potatoes if they have started sprouting a bit.
  • 10 minutes of boiling was too much. The potatoes became mashed. Next time, I can try boiling for only 8 mins instead.
  • I fried old, dried up rosemary. I barely tasted anything. Next time, I can invest in fresher herbs if I have the funds.
  • I overcooked the chicken on the stove for about 7 mins on each side. Next time: 5 mins skin side, 3 mins flesh side, then I’ll pop it in the oven (200C with convection for 25 mins skin side, and 15 flesh side up).
  • The potatoes took longer to crisp up compared to the chicken. Take the chicken out and leave the potatoes longer in the oven.
  • The smoked paprika powder was hard to find at the grocery stores. I got mine along with onion and garlic powder on Shopee.
  • The color mix at the end was a little too bland. Next time, I can plan to include more veggies to make the color more attractive.
  • This is a great meal prep option, but the food will not be as crispy as the freshly baked ones if you reheat the leftover for another day.

Helmi Hasan

Hi, I'm Helmi Hasan, the founder, and writer for the personal finance blog, Balkoni Hijau. Read more in the 'About Me' page or follow me on Twitter.

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