1 whole farm chicken
A few rosemary and thyme sprigs
1 lemon (cut in quarters)
1 bay leaf
4 garlic cloves (skin on)
Sea salt and pepper
For the gravy:
All the juices from the roasting pan
Half glass white wine
1 tbsp plain flour
Salt & pepper
I roast a chicken at least once a week. In France, I always buy the poulet fermier jaune (farmer’s yellow chicken – it basically means that it is corn-fed chicken). The flesh is yellower and richer in taste.
Take the chicken out 2 hours before roasting. Cooking meat straight from the fridge dries it out. I have learnt how important it is to roast meat at room temperature – that really is the secret to a great juicy chicken, therefore a successful gravy. Place the chicken on a roasting pan, salt and rub olive oil all over the poultry, salt lightly in the cavity and stuff the rosemary, bay leaf and thyme sprigs, the garlic with the skin on and the lemon cut in quarters. Leave to rest.
In a full-on 240°C pre-heated oven, place the chicken in the center. Then lower the heat to 190-200°C and cook for 1 hour. I don’t do anything to it for 1 whole hour.
When ready, take out the chicken, cover with a tinfoil then a tea towel. Place the roasting pan filled with the chicken juices on to a stove on medium heat and add the wine. It should be bubbling away so let it reduce for a few minutes. Sprinkle the flour and whisk the sauce until it thickens to a perfect gravy. Pour in a serving dish and there you have a delicious gravy flavoured with lemon, thyme, rosemary and wine. Simply divine.
I serve this dish with roast potatoes, a corn salad and sucrine lettuce. I usually roast two chickens because there is nothing better that cold chicken sandwiches for the next day’s lunch.