Roast Chicken is the easiest of the classic Sunday lunches to make. Chicken is more forgiving than other meats so you can take your eye off the timer and it won’t be a disaster. I can get roast chicken, potatoes, a couple of veggies and a cracking gravy on the table in about 1 hour 40 minutes. The kids love it so everyone eats the same thing and leftover chicken can be turned into umpteen dinners for another night.
For the Chicken
1 large free range chicken
2 large shallots or a medium white onion
1/2 head garlic
herbs (thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, oregano)
unsalted butter at room temperature
- Pre-heat the oven to 240°C (220°C Fan). Peel the shallots and garlic then roughly chop and place in a roasting tin along with whichever herbs you have (fresh or dried) and a couple of bay leaves. Place the chicken on top so that the herbs are out of sight, this stops them burning.
- Dry the chicken with paper towel then rub over a couple of tablespoons of butter. Grind over with salt and pop into the hot oven (on a middle shelf) for 25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and spoon the fat over the skin then spoon 2 tablespoons of fat into a heatproof bowl to use for the gravy. Add the water to the roasting tin and return to the oven turning the heat down to 195°C (175°C Fan) and cook for 50 minutes or until the juices run clear when you skewer the bird.
- Remove the chicken to a resting plate while you make the gravy.
For the Gravy
2 tbsps chicken fat
1 tbsp flour
30ml or wine or 4 wine ice cubes
chicken stock (extra veg stock if needed)
sugar and salt
- When the chicken is cooked and resting give the pan juices a squish with a masher then pass through a sieve to collect the stock.
- I freeze leftover wine into ice cubes to use for gravy but you can use actual wine as well.
- Have all your ingredients ready to make gravy. Put the fat into a small saucepan or frying pan on a medium high heat then add the flour and whisk. Let it cook for a minute then add the wine or wine ice cubes and whisk.
- Gradually add the chicken stock, whisking thoroughly as you go. If you want the gravy thinner add some veg water (carrot water is the best). Taste the gravy then add salt and sugar to balance it.