Fresh herbs are abundant at the moment, and using them, with lemon and garlic, to stuff a roast chicken is a terrific way to add lots of flavour to the dish. Serves 4.
- 1.5kg Free Range chicken
- bunch of fresh mixed herbs
- 4 cloves of garlic
- peeled skin of half an unwaxed lemon - zest only - no white flesh
- olive oil
- salt and black pepper
- a small metal skewer
- Heat the oven to 200°C/ Fan 180°C/380°F.
- Trim the legs of the chicken at the end of the drumstick joint with a sharp knife to remove any excess leg bone.
- Remove any white fat from inside the chicken cavity.
- Slice the garlic roughly. Rub some of the garlic all over the skin of the chicken, and then place it all in the cavity, with a good pinch of slat and black pepper.
- Now put the lemon peel and herbs into the cavity.
- Take the skewer and push it through the leg meat on one side, through the sides of the cavity and tail, and out through the leg meat on the other side, and place the chicken in a roasting tin.
- Rub the skin with olive oil and liberally season it with salt and black pepper.
- Cover the chicken with cooking foil, and roast for 45 minutes.
- Remove the foil from the chicken and then roast for a further 45 minutes. The chicken should now be a beautiful golden colour and the juices from the thigh should run clear when pierced with a skewer. If not, or if you are unsure, roast for another 10 -15 minutes.
- Whilst the chicken is cooking make up a quantity of Herb Gravy Base.
- When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the roasting pan onto a warm dish and cover with cooking foil and leave it to rest for about 20 minutes before serving.
- Add the Herb Gravy Base to the juices in the roasting pan, and gently heat up, and scrape up any nice bits from the pan. Strain off any excess fat, and return to the saucepan, and gently heat the gravy, until you are ready to serve.
- Accompany the dish with new potatoes, steamed green beans and carrots, and roasted chipolata sausages.