MOTHERSHIP SUNDAY ROAST CHICKEN
TThis is my ultimate roast chicken, wwhich I call the Mothership, as it’s gguaranteed to give you leftovers yyou can use in other recipes (see rright). The secret to juiciness, fflavour and quick cooking is putting a wwhole hot pricked lemon that’s been pparboiling with the spuds into the ccavity, and letting that help the cchicken cook from the inside.
SServes 4 plus leftovers. 643 calories per sserving. Total time: 2 hours 1kg (2lb 4oz) potatoes 1 lemon 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary 1 x 1.8kg (4lb) higher-welfare whole chicken Olive oil 500g (1lb 2oz) carrots 1 onion 2 knobs of unsalted butter 1 orange 2 sprigs of fresh thyme 2 cloves of garlic 1 heaped tbsp plain flour ½ a Savoy cabbage 250g (9oz) frozen peas Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6. Peel the potatoes, halving any larger ones, then parboil in salted water with the lemon for 12 minutes. Meanwhile, strip half the rosemary leaves into a pestle and mortar and smash with a good pinch of salt and pepper, then in a roasting tray, rub all over the chicken with a lug of oil.
Peel the carrots and onion, then cut the onion into 8 wedges and place under the chicken with the carrot peelings. Cut the carrots at an angle into 3cm (1¼in) chunks and tip into a roasting dish with a knob of butter. Peel in strips of orange zest, then squeeze in the juice. Strip in the thyme leaves, add a pinch of salt and pepper, toss to coat, then cover with tin foil. Set aside.
Drain the potatoes and shake to fluff them up. Use tongs to remove the lemon, prick it with a knife and push it into the cavity of the chicken. Roast the chicken for 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.
Meanwhile, tip the potatoes into a roasting tray with a lug of oil and a pinch of salt and pepper and strip over the remaining rosemary leaves. Smash the garlic and add to the tray, toss and roast alongside the carrots, under the chicken tray, for its last hour, or until golden, shaking both every now and again.
Remove the chicken from the oven, transfer to a platter and cover (leaving the potatoes and carrots in). Spoon the dripping out of the tray and into a jar for another day. Put the tray on a medium heat on the hob and stir in the flour, then pour in 600ml (1pt) of boiling water and any chicken resting juices. Stir well and simmer until it’s the consistency you want, then pour through a sieve into a jug.
Trim away and discard the cabbage core, separate the leaves and cook in boiling salted water for 5 minutes, adding the peas for the last few minutes. Drain and toss with butter. Serve with all the trimmings.