Sunday is traditionally the day for a roast dinner and my Sunday Roast Chicken is the ideal recipe. It’s a lot easier to make than you might think and you can even make it a one pot meal by adding vegetables to the roasting dish. Plus, the advantage of cooking a roast on a Sunday is that it gives you some leftover chicken to use the next day, ideal for Chicken and Sweetcorn Chowder.
Ingredients (serves 6-8):
2.25-2.75 kg chicken
1 lemon, quartered
75 g butter
6 rashers streaky bacon
salt and pepper
- Pre-heat the oven to 190c.
- Remove and retain the giblets if they are inside the cavity (they will be in a plastic bag).
- Put the lemon quarters in the cavity.
- Place the chicken on a roasting tray with plenty of room around it.
- Loosen the skin around the neck end and push some of the butter under the skin, as far as you can without tearing the skin. Smear the rest of the butter over the skin, season with salt and pepper, then lay the bacon slices over the skin, covering as much as possible.
- Put the chicken in the oven and roast for 20 minutes per 450g plus 20 minutes extra; after 1 hour, remove the bacon. Turn the heat up to 220c for the last 20 minutes.
- To check if the chicken is cooked, use a skewer or sharp knife to pierce the thickest part of the thigh, if the juices run out clear then it is cooked. If they are pink then more time is needed.
- Once cooked, remove the chicken to a warm place, cover with foil and let it “rest” for 10-15 minutes. This allows you time to make some gravy.
As a base for your gravy, you can use the giblets to make stock, simply boil in a pint of water with some chopped carrots, for 1 hour, skim any scum and retain.
The juices from the chicken make the best gravy, once “rested”, remove the chicken to a warm plate for carving and place the roasting tin over a medium heat. Spoon off any excess fat, then add a little white wine to “deglaze” the pan, add 2 tbsps flour and whisk, add stock and stir until the gravy is thickened, check for seasoning and if necessary add some Worcestershire sauce or mushroom ketchup for flavouring.