1 Whole chicken. Allow a 4lb bird for 4 persons
1 onion Sliced
2 Cloves Garlic
2 Tablespoons Tarragon or mixed herbs of your choice
Juice of 1 lemon plus remainder of lemon cut into pieces
salt and pepper
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 Tablespoon cornflour or gravy thickener (follow thickener guide for quantity)
500 ml or 1/2 quart of boiling water or better, use the water from the vegetables you have cooked.
1 chicken stock cube.
salt & pepper if needed.
Juices from the roasted chicken
Calculate roughly 2 medium sized potatoes per person.
Choose vegetables that you like and are in season. for example, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, carrots, cabbage etc. Whatever takes your fancy!
1. Turn oven on to 220C, 425F, Gas 7
2. Prepare the chicken. Give it a wash and remove any innards if necessary.
Tidy the bird up. first, tuck the wings underneath so they’re not exposed and get burnt. See photos .
3. We will be cooking the chicken on a very high heat to keep it moist and succulent. We have to make sure it cooks evenly, so now we need to make a slit in between the leg and the main body of the chicken on both sides. This area is generally the thickest part and takes longer to cook, so by doing this we will make sure the legs will cook at the same speed at the white meat.
Fold each wing under the chicken
Slash through where the skin is holding the leg to the main body
Top Tippie: If you are going to boil your vegetables, keep the used water to add to your gravy. It’s full of vitamins and will add flavor to your gravy!
4. Line a roasting tin with foil (easier to wash up after!).
5. Peel and slice the onion into circles and place on the bottom of the tray. The chicken will sit on top of the onions.
Adding onions will flavor the juices in the tray which will be added to the gravy and also the steam from the onions cooking will keep the chicken moist as well as add flavor.
6. Make up a quick wet marinade. Add the garlic, lemon juice, tarragon, olive oil & salt and pepper into a mortar and pestle and beat until mashed together. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, mix together in a bowl, you will need to pass the garlic through a garlic press first.
7. Rub the marinade all over the chicken and place the chicken on the onions, in your roasting tray. Add the bits of lemon left over from the juice in the cavity of the chicken.
8. Place a sheet of foil over the chicken, lifting in the center (pinch it and pull slightly) so the foil is not touching the top of the chicken. This will allow for heat and steam to circulate better and the skin won’t stick to the foil.
The photo below shows a variation marinade I often use. I have flat leaf parsley, garlic, red currant jelly and olive oil, together with some sliced onions on the top, as well as underneath the chicken. So delicious! Feel free to make up some other herb variations of your choice too.
9. Place the chicken in the oven and allow 15 minutes per pound. So a 4lb chicken would take 1 hour total cooking time at the temperature listed above.
10. At this point, prepare the roast potatoes and place in the oven after the chicken has been cooking for 30 minutes.
11. Prepare your chosen vegetables. Start cooking your vegetables when you have taken your chicken out of the oven. If you want to cook them now, you will need to keep them warm somewhere or reheat.
12. Take the chicken out of the oven after 45 minutes, and remove the foil from the top. Spoon any juices into a gravy saucepan and return the chicken to the oven for the last 15 minutes to brown up.
Ready for browning
At this point, start cooking your vegetables.
Make up the gravy. If you are boiling the vegetables, use the cooked vegetable water and add to a saucepan, together with the other gravy ingredients and heat up, stir to make sure there are no lumps.
If you are using a different size chicken, take the foil off 15 minutes before the end cooking time for the chicken to brown.
13. When the cooking time is up for the chicken, take it out of the oven and cover with the foil you removed from step 12. Let it rest until your potatoes are ready or for about 15 minutes.
If you try and carve the white meat when it is too hot and not rested it will all fall apart and make a mess! So be patient and let the meat rest!
14. Carve the chicken. I usually start by removing the leg & wing from one side and then carve the breast on that same side. Then repeat the other side. Serve at the table with vegetables, potatoes & your delicious gravy!
Take a look at the photos below and see how moist the white meat is.
Remember, we haven’t used any butter, and just 1 Tablespoon of olive oil for the wet rub. You can make this meal for sure! Just follow the instructions and you will be fine.
We’d love to hear from you and what you thought of our post. Did you make any changes or add some other goodies? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading and happy cooking!