Introducing some simple herbs to the familiar roast chicken is a great way to jazz up a family favourite.
- 1 medium chicken, approx 1½ kgs
- 1 bulb of garlic
- 1 lemon
- Small bunch of thyme
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 2 carrots, roughly chopped
- 1 stick of celery, roughly chopped
- 2 tablesp. olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablesp. flour
- 300mls stock
Set the oven at Gas Mark 6, 200°C (400°F).
Cut the bulb of garlic and the lemon in half and use to stuff the cavity of the chicken along with the thyme.
Place the chicken and vegetables in a roasting tin. Drizzle with the olive oil and season well with the salt and pepper. Place in the centre of the preheated oven. After the first ten minutes turn the heat down to Gas Mark 4, 180ºC (350ºF). Roast the chicken for approx. 1 hour 20 mins (allow 20 minutes per 500g plus 20 minutes over). Halfway through cooking, spoon the juices over the chicken and add a couple of tablespoons of water to the roasting tin to stop the vegetables from burning. To check if the chicken is cooked pierce the thickest part of the leg – the juices should run clear.
When cooked remove the chicken from the oven, transfer to a carving board and cover loosely with foil. Allow to rest for 10 minutes in a warm place while you make the gravy.
Strain all but 1 tablesp. of fat from the tin, then sprinkle in a tablesp. of flour. Cook for a couple of minutes and then add in 300-400ml of stock (home-made if possible) and bring to the boil, stirring and scraping to loosen the caramelised meat juices. Simmer for 2-3 minutes and season to taste. Strain into a gravy boat, discard the vegetables and serve.
Delicious served with roast potatoes and vegetables cooked in the oven at the same time as the chicken.
We hope you enjoyed reading this post by Pat Whelan of James Whelan Butchers. Pat is a 5th generation butcher, cook book author and the director of James Whelan Butchers with shops in Clonmel, the Avoca Handweavers Rathcoole and Kilmacanogue, Dunnes Stores Cornelscourt, Rathmines and Swords in Dublin. Sign up to our newsletter for more updates from James Whelan Butchers