Roast Chicken

Roast Chicken
Sunday ... and I awoke with Roast Chicken on my mind.

Unable to get it out of my head, I succumbed ... and bought a chicken. Woodland reared, Freedom Food and most definitely NOT corn fed.

She's about 1.3Kg and will take an hour and 20 minutes end to end, with 20 minutes rest time for perfection.

What will be on the plate?

Chicken - cavity stuffed with lemon and garlic, settled onto a bed of shredded leeks with butter under the skin and sea salt, black pepper and majoram over.

Shiitake Jus with the juices, some black pepper and thickened with arrowroot

Red & White Cabbage - steamed

Mashed Potato - butter and cream


Pre-heat the oven to just shy of 200C (400F?).

Take a roasting tray and line with shredded leeks - the green parts are good.

Open the cavity of the chicken and stuff with lemon and garlic.

Peel the skin back on the breast, sufficient to push a good slab of butter under. Not only will this keep the breast meat especially tender, but will add to the crispness of the skin.

Generous amounts of black pepper, dried marjoram and some sea salt over ...

Roast Chicken

... and settle into the oven for 1 hour 20 minutes. No faffing.


Pling! The chicken is done. Do the obligatory stab in the thigh to reveal clear juices and a hot knife tip when tested against your tongue ...

Roast Chicken

... she's done!

Retrieve from the oven, carefully lift to allow the juices to flow out into the tray - keep for the jus. Wrap the chicken in tin foil and set aside to rest.

Shred some cabbage and settle into steamers. Steam.

Peel and cube potatoes and get 'em boiling.


Add just a little boiling water to the roasting tray and boil up on the hob, scraping away at the bottom for all the lovely flavours.

Strain into a pan, taste. Add black pepper and perhaps some sea salt.

Mushrooms go so well with chicken. I had some Shiitake in, so quartered and added to the jus - the mushrooms soak up some of the fat, but if your jus is obscenely fatty you can lay a piece of kitchen towel on the surface and remove - this will collect some of the fat. Repeat, as necessary.

Reduce and check for flavour. Now thicken with a little arrowroot.


Veggies ready, chicken rested and the jus thickened, it's time to serve.

Make a good mount of potato in the middle of a round plate and spread the cabbage around.

Joint the chicken - cut off the back legs, separating the thighs from the drumsticks, clip the wings off and carve the breast meat.

Serve the chicken pieces on top of the potato and smother with delicious jus, crowning the meat with the mushrooms.

Absolutely, completely and utterly gorgeous!


Drop the whole carcass into a large pan of boiling water with a good splosh of cider vinegar, boil on for a couple of hours, strain and you've got the base for a good soup or stock.