Perfect Roast ChickenPosted: November 24, 2011
3 1/2 lb chicken
2 medium onions
2 stalks celery
1 bulb garlic
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
a small bunch of fresh thyme, rosemary, bay or sage or a mixture.
Take your chicken out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before it goes into the oven. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Wash vegetables and chop roughly. Break the garlic bulb into clove, leaving them unpeeled. Pile all of the vegetables and garlic into the middle of a large roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil. Drizzle with chicken with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper, rubbing it all over the bird. Carefully prick the lemon all over, using the tip of a sharp knife. Put the lemon inside the chicken’s cavity, with the bunch of herbs.
Place the chicken on top of the vegetables in the roasting pan and put it into the preheated oven. Turn the heat down immediately to 400 degrees F and cook the chicken for 1 hour 20 minutes. Get any roasted potatoes and veggies into the oven for the last 45 minutes. Baste the chicken halfway through cooking and if the vegetables look dry, add a splash of water to the pan to stop them from burning. When cooked, take the pan out of the oven and transfer the chicken to a board to rest for 15 minutes or so. Cover it with a layer of aluminum foil and a kitchen towel and put aside while you make gravy.
Remove any string from the chicken and take off the wings. Carefully cut down between the leg and breast. Cut through the joint and pull the leg off. Repeat on the other side, then cut each leg between the thigh and drumstick so you end up with four portions of dark meat. Place these on a serving platter. You should now have a clear space to carve the rest of your chicken. Angle the knife along the breastbone and carve one side off, then the other. When you get down to the fussy bits, just use your fingers to pull all the meat off, and turn the chicken over to get all of the tasty juicy bits from underneath. You should be left with a stripped carcass, and a platter full of lovely meat. Serve with hot gravy, roasted veggies and stuffing.