One of the things I've learnt about a good Sunday roast, is that you have to have good gravy and home-made gravy is really easy to do.
Course: Main Course
Season: All, Autumn, Spring, Summer, Winter
Diet: Dairy Free
2onionsorganic, roughly chopped
2carrotsorganic, roughly chopped
4tbspolive oilorganic, fairtrade
2kgwhole chickenorganic or free range
900gpotatoesdesiree, King Edward, Maris piper, organic
500gspring green cabbageorganic, cut into 1cm ribbons
350gcarrotsorganic, peeled and diced
7gplain flourorganic 1 tbsp = 7g
175mlwhite wineorganic, fairtrade or low alcohol cooking wine
Pre-heat oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5. Weigh your chicken and check the total cooking time. See note below.
Place the onions, carrots and garlic cloves in the roasting tin and drizzle with olive oil.
Cut the lemon in half and put it inside the chicken cavity together with the thyme. Lay the chicken on top of the vegetables, place in the oven and set a timer to the required cooking time.
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Peel the potatoes and cut into pieces about the size of an egg. Place in the pan and cook for 8 - 10 minutes then drain through a colander and give a good shake to roughen up the edges.
50 minutes before eating
Turn the oven temperature up to 220°C/430°F/gas mark 7. Remove the chicken from the oven and drain off the fat into a separate roasting tin. Toss the potatoes in the fat, making sure they are well covered. Put the chicken back in the oven and place the potatoes near the top.
30 minutes before eating
Remove the chicken from the oven and check it is properly cooked (see note below). Cover with foil and leave to rest.
To make the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat and add the milk and cayenne pepper. Sieve in the flour and using a balloon whisk, stir continuously until the sauce begins to thicken. Simmer for 5 minutes stirring occasionally then stir in the grated cheese until it melts. Pour into a jug and keep warm.
15 minutes before eating
Put the cabbage and cauliflower on to steam for about 5 - 6 minutes then remove to a warm dish. You may need to do this in batches.
To make the gravy, remove the chicken to a carving dish. Put the tray on the hob over a high heat and when the juices begin to bubble, add the flour and whisk in. Hold the tray carefully and mash the vegetables with a potato masher. Add the wine and let it bubble for a few minutes. Slowly add the stock, stirring it all together. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 - 10 minutes until you have your desired thickness. Strain the gravy through a sieve and pour into a warm jug.
Ready to eat
Carve the meat. Remove the potatoes from the oven and serve together with the meat, vegetables, cheese sauce and gravy.
Cooking time for chickenAt 190°C/375°F/gas mark 522-24 minutes per 500g / 20 minutes per lb. Plus an extra 10 -20 minutes and 30 minutes resting time. Always check your chicken is cooked thoroughly. The internal temperature should be 74°C if testing with a probe thermometer.[nutrition-label]