Mum’s Roast Chicken
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 90 minutes
1 x 1.5kg chicken
1 small onion, peeled
A small bunch of fresh herbs
1 lemon, left whole, but stabbed a few times with a sharp knife
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Preheat the oven to 200°C (Gas Mark 6).
2 Pat the chicken dry and season the cavity with salt and pepper. Then shove in the onion, fresh herbs and lemon. Pour the olive oil over the top of the chicken, then season with salt and ground black pepper.
3 If you like, you can now sprinkle the chicken with some dried herbs or spices
of your choice – sometimes we throw on a pinch of thyme, oregano, or za’atar (a mix of Arabian herbs) to give it a little bit of extra zing. Or try adding a knob of butter into the creases between the thighs and the body.
4 Then slam the chicken in the oven until it’s done – it should take about 1 hour 30 minutes – basting every 20 minutes or so.
5 Since it is important that a chicken is properly cooked through, the best test is simply to stab it with a knife in the thickest part of the thigh and make sure that the juices run clear. If they don’t, just pop the chicken back in the oven for another 5 minutes or so. Serve with all the trimmings.
COOK’S TIP You can’t beat a steaming jug of gravy with a good roast chicken. Skim off the excess fat in the roasting tray, then bung in about 250ml of wine or chicken stock and bubble it up, scraping up all the yummy sticky roasty bits. Try stirring in a Boursin cheese for a tasty variation.
Taken from Leon Family & Friends by Kay Plunkett-Hogge & John Vincent Octopus, £25