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MOTHER­SHIP SUN­DAY ROAST CHICKEN

The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - FOOD & DRINK -

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.

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