September 30, 2012 by twodogjam
Being able to cook a roast chicken has to be included on every new cooks repertoire. And to take the stress out of a Sunday roast, cook the chicken slowly, allowing the flavours to develop and give you more time to do other things with the day. And the beauty of this recipe, is that as you’re cooking the chicken, a beautiful gravy base is simmering at the bottom of the roasting dish. Perfect with roast potatoes, pumpkin and carrots, peas or broccoli of any combination of your favourite vegetables.
- Whole chicken
- 1 lemon, cut into quarters
- 1 onion, cut into quarters
- sprigs of thyme
- couple of knobs of butter
- 1 cup of white wine
- Selection of chopped vegetables: carrots, onions, fennel, celery, 4-6 garlic cloves (optional)
Preheat the oven to 220ºC.
Remove any giblets if present from inside the chicken cavity. Rinse the chicken inside and out and pat dry. Place the quartered onion and lemon and thyme into the chicken cavity. Rub a knob of butter under the skin of the each chicken breast, being careful not to pull the skin too far back. Season chicken with salt and pepper and tie up the chicken with string so that the legs and wings lie close to the chicken body.
Place the chopped vegetables into the bottom of the roasting pan and add the wine. Sit the chicken on top of the vegetables in the pan.
Cover the pan with two layers of alfoil, making sure that the foil is tucked around the edges to stop any steam from coming out.
Place the chicken onto the middle shelf of the oven and at the same time, turn the heat down to 160ºC. Cook for 3-4 hours. For the last half hour, remove the foil and turn up the heat to 200ºC to roast the outside.
When cooked, the chicken should be a light roasted colour and juices running from the chicken should be clear. Remove from the oven and place the chicken onto a warm plate and cover with the alfoil. Be careful though: the chicken is so tender it just falls over the bone (that’s why there’s no photo!). Next make the gravy.
The vegetables in the bottom of the pan should be nice and soft and mixed with the chicken juices that have dripped in during the cooking. Place the pan onto the stove top on medium heat and stir, scraping any bits that have stuck off the bottom of the pan and letting the wine evaporate down a little. Squash the vegetables and the gravy base will begin to thicken. Add 1 tablespoon of plain flour and keep stirring over the heat to cook the flour and mix into the gravy base in the pan. The gravy base will be quite thick. Add about a cup of water that you’ve had the vegetables cooking in (add more water if you like a thinner gravy). Strain the gravy sauce through a sieve into a saucepan and sit on a low heat on the stove top until ready to serve. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.
To serve, pull the chicken meat off the bone: it’s very tender so will just fall apart. Serve with mixed vegetables and the thick gravy.