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    Roast Chicken 2006

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    Roast Chicken 2006

    • Preparation time: 15 minutes
    • Cooking time: 90 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 45 minutes 60 minutes 45 minutes

    Serves: 4


    • 100g butter, at room temperature
    • 1.8kg chicken
    • 2 chicken wings, chopped roughly
    • 250ml dry white wine
    • 1 lemon
    • Several sprigs of thyme or tarragon, or both
    • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
    • 4 celery hearts


    1. Preheat the oven to 230°C, gas mark 8.
    2. Smear the butter over the chicken. Put it in a roasting tin, arrange the chopped wings around it and pour in the wine. Season well with salt and pepper and squeeze over the juice of the lemon. Put the herbs and garlic inside the cavity, together with the squeezed-out lemon halves. Roast the chicken for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the celery by removing the outer stalks, and peeling the fibres off the outer stalks of the remaining heart.
    3. Baste the chicken, then turn the oven down to 190°C, gas mark 5 and roast for a further 45-60 minutes, or until cooked, basting occasionally. About half way through the cooking time, add the celery hearts to the tin. When cooked, the bird should be golden brown with a crisp skin and there should be golden, buttery, lemony juices in the tin. When you press a knife into the thickest part of the flesh, the juices should be clear with no trace of pink.
    4. Turn the oven off, leaving the door ajar. Remove the chicken from the tin, scoop the garlic and herbs from inside it and put them in the tin, then transfer the chicken to a warm dish and leave to rest in the warm oven for at least 15 minutes. This enables the flesh to relax, retaining the juices in the meat and ensuring easy carving and a moist bird.
    5. Put the tin with the celery, herbs, wings and juices on the hob. Simmer for 10 minutes. Lift out the celery, (serve with the chicken), then strain the juices, which will be your gravy. I see no point in making gravy with roasting fat, flour and vegetable cooking water as with this 'wet-roasting'' method, where wine is added, you create an amalgamation of butter, lemon, wine and chicken juices in the tin: the best gravy imaginable. You could use stock or even water instead of the wine and you can enrich the juices further by adding tomatoes, bacon, cream, herbs, spices or anything else you fancy.

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    Drinks recommendation

    Nothing goes better with a roast chicken than the sweet and racy fruit of good red burgundy.


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    5 stars