There's nothing quite like good old fashioned roast chicken, I personally think it can't be beaten, but too many chefs these days poo-poo the idea. It's a perfect dish for Easter Sunday, To me it's the ultimate comfort food, Fern's favourite roasts are lamb and chicken.
- 1.6kg/3½ lb firm corn-fed chicken
- 2 small onions, peeled
- 1 whole bulb of garlic
- 225g/8oz unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- 2 tbsp chopped basil
- Juice of 2 limes
- 900g/2 lb Jersey new potatoes
- 6 small sprigs fresh mint
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6.
- Use kitchen paper to pat dry the chicken then season the cavity with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Place the small onions and bulb of garlic in the cavity.
- Next, gently put your fingers under the flap of skin by the neck of the bird and carefully lift the skin up away from the meat over the whole breast, but be careful to leave the skin intact.
- Mix together the softened butter, herbs and lime juice and season well.
- Next carefully spread the mixture under the skin, taking care not to break the skin. Spread any excess butter mixture over the top of the skin then season with salt and pepper.
- Now, here's a good tip for you - pull out a long length of silver foil and scrunch it up into an oblong, about 5cm thick.
- Place the foil in your roasting tin and sit the chicken on top - this stops the chicken from sticking to the bottom of the roasting tin whilst it's cooking.
- Cook the chicken in the oven for about 1½ hours, or until thoroughly cooked, but not dry. Keep an eye on the chicken and regularly baste it with the juices and butter which will run out. If the chicken is browning too quickly then turn down the oven slightly, or cover the breast with a piece of foil.
- When the chicken has about 20 minutes cooking time left, prepare the vegetables.
- See attached sheets.
- When the chicken is cooked, carefully remove from the oven and leave to inch˜rest' for 10 minutes.
- If liked, you can add reduce the chicken juices by simmering them rapidly in a pan and then adding stock to make your gravy - I normally find that the chicken is so tender and moist it doesn't need to be served with gravy.
- Drizzle some of the buttery juices from the chicken over the potatoes and garnish with remaining mint.
- Place the chicken on a large serving plate - I like to take the chicken to the table to carve - and serve straight away with the vegetables.