Ah roast chicken! What does it mean to you?
Sundays at home, warmth, comfort, family....perfect left overs (MrB loves a buttie!)
This recipe is simply perfect! Lemons, thyme, garlic and melting butter! Just the ingredients make me smile!
Buy yourself a good chicken. Of course we all know this by now and most people I know would hide their baskets in shame if they were to buy a miserable, battery raised, skinny, anaemic looking bird. But I am all too aware that there is a lot of equally miserable, skinny, anaemic bank accounts out there! I do believe however that it is better to have slightly less meat and fill your plate with the delicious potatoes, that go with this dish and lots of veggies, than to eat something that will just leave your taste buds and conscience feeling cheated!
I bought this wee chicken, who was corn fed and free range and delicious, for only £4.88! My husband joked he looked more like a sparrow, when cooked, but what he lacked in size he made up for in flavour. We were all amply fed and I will use the carcass for soup today. Two meals for under a fiver!
So children are being entertained, classic fm is on....happy chef, happy tummies!
Separate the skin from the breast of the chicken, by wiggling your fingers up through the neck skin, just pushing with your fingers (is it wrong that I actually enjoy this process??). Take a good couple of teaspoons of butter and push into the space you have made under the skin, flatten out, over the breast of the chicken. Next thinly slice your lemons and place as many as will cover the butter and fit in a single layer. Take three or four, stems of thyme and strip the leaves, push these under the skin. Next place, a small bunch of thyme, two or three peeled (but unchopped) garlic cloves and half a lemon (slightly squeezed) into the cavity. This is your chicken finished! Place this breast side down in a roasting tin.
Now for the most perfect potatoes! I used charlotte potatoes, the little waxy, new potatoey ones! I leave them unpeeled. Cut them into halves, bite size. Scatter them round the chicken. I use the whole bag, as I have a carbo fiend to feed, but you decide how many (just let it be re stated, they are amazing!!) Place blobs of butter all over the potatoes, using about 1tbs. Scatter four or five stems of thyme round the chicken and bury three peeled garlic cloves in the potatoes.
Finally pour about 400ml of water over the potatoes or as much to come half way up the potatoes.
Cook in a moderate, 180 oven for about an hour. The water helps cook your chicken quickly but keeps it moist. Turn your chicken at this point and give it a further 2o minutes to crisp up the skin.
Remove the chicken and let it rest, covered with a clean tea towel.
In a saucepan, melt a tsp of butter. Remove from the heat, mix in a tsp of plain flour. Pour the juices from the roasting pan, into the saucepan, whisking as you go. Leave on a medium heat. This will make the gravy, the like you never get out of a tub! It is chickeny, garlicky, lemony.......blissfully yummy! While this is happening leave your potatoes in the now dry roasting tin to crisp up slightly.
There you have it, perfect potatoes, perfect chicken, perfect gravy!
Serve with greens, a glass of cheer and good company!
Lick your plate clean!
Hope for some left overs (fat chance in our house!)
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