This Roast Chicken recipe is really tasty and all cooked in one tray! The vegetables need to be in a single layer to roast properly so if you are feeding a crowd you may need a second tray!
Course: Main Course
Season: Autumn, Winter
Diet: Dairy Free
2leeksorganic, trimmed and cut into 5cm chunks
750gpotatoesorganic, cut into size of roasties
4carrotsorganic, peeled and cut into 5cm pieces
2turnipsorganic, peeled and cut into wedges
25mlolive oilorganic, fairtrade
1 ½kgwhole chickenorganic or free range
6clovesgarlicorganic, peeled and crushed with the side of a knife
1lemonsorganic, fairtrade, quartered
7gplain flourorganic, 7g = 1 tbsp
Pre-heat the oven to 230°C/450°F/gas mark 8
In a large roasting tray, toss the leeks, potatoes, carrots, turnips and thyme in the olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Give the tray a shake so the vegetables lie in a single layer and make a well in the centre big enough for the chicken.
Remove the neck and innards from the cavity of the chicken if they are still there. Place 3 garlic cloves, 4 sprigs of thyme and the lemon wedges inside the cavity then tie the legs together with kitchen string or the piece of elastic that many chickens come with.
Rub a little olive oil over the outside of the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Using a sharp knife, make a couple of cuts in the thighs. The meat is thickest here and doing this will help it cook at the same time as the rest of the chicken.
Place the chicken breast side up in the centre of the roasting dish and place in the oven. Immediately turn the temperature down to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6 and cook for 25 minutes per 500g plus an extra 25 minutes. Check your chicken is cooked by inserting a skewer or sharp knife into the thickest part of the meat on the thigh to see if the juices run clear. A more accurate way is to use a meat thermometer. The temperature of the chicken should be 74°C
Remove the chicken to a carving dish, cover it with tin foil and let it rest for at least 15 minutes. Put the vegetables into a serving dish and keep warm.
Whilst the chicken is resting, make the gravy. Spoon off most of the fat from the roasting tray. Place the roasting tray with the meat juices over a high heat and stir in the flour with a wooden spoon until you have a paste. Gradually add the stock, stirring all the time. Add any extra meat juices, season if necessary and turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until the gravy is thick enough. Strain the gravy through a sieve and serve with the chicken and vegetables.
If you have any leftover chicken, take a look at other chicken recipes for some ideas on how to use it up.I like to make soup with any leftover vegetables, just put in a pan, simmer in hot stock then blitz in a food blender. There are no rules. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recommends adding a few teaspoons of curry powder, which is absolutely delicious.[nutrition-label]