Once you've got a great roast chicken recipe under your belt you'll be able to whip one up with your eyes closed.
My mum taught me how to make this when I was about 13 and it's become one of my staples. There are a million variations on roast chicken but this simple, delicious recipe is by far favourite.
Perfect to make for lunch with the girls, feed a hungry family or make at the beginning of the week for a feast of decadent roast chicken sandwiches to take to work*.
*May result in jealous stares and fridge theft.
One Free-Range chicken,
Two Cloves of garlic,
One tblsp Honey,
Drizzle of Olive oil,
A sprinkling of your favourite rock salt (I use Maldon).
Pre-heat your oven to 190C/375F
Grab your chicken and place it into a baking tray. Chop your lemon into quarters and stick two segments up the chicken's butt. Peel and gently crush your garlic cloves with the side of your knife and stick those up there too, then your honey, then your other lemon segments. Drizzle olive oil over the outside of the chicken, just enough to make sure the whole thing is covered but not swimming in it.
Sprinkle a really good pinch of your salt over the whole chicken and rub it over with your hands. A gentle massage, you're not exfoliating it! Throw the whole thing into the oven on the middle shelf and go about your business.
Time will vary based on the size of your bird. You need 20mins per pound and then an extra 10-20 mins for luck. My standard chickens generally take around 2 hours.
10 mins before it's done, pull the tray out and spoon some of the delicious lemoney-garlicy-honeyed juice over the skin. It should be all sizzly and delicious by now but give it another 10mins to bronze.
I served mine with salad for a light summer lunch but you could add veg, potatoes and all the trimmings. One of my old favourites is when it's served with a big bowl of pasta & peas with a little of the chicken sauce mixed through.
Please make sure you buy free-range for this recipe. Even ignoring the whole welfare side of things, they just taste so much better than battery chickens. Think of it as an investment in flavour... and karma. If we all bought free-range then the battery farms would have to sit up, take notice & change.
If you find yourself with any left overs have a crack at my Chicken Noodle Soup recipe, it's a sure fire winner.