Nothing goes down better in the middle of the week than a succulent roast chicken. We made ours with lemon to give it some summery freshness.
SERVES 8 // HANDS-ON 40 min // HANDS-OFF 80 min
20g thyme sprigs
220g butter, at room temperature
30g parsley, roughly chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
2 × 1.2 kg chickens
Salt and pepper
1.5 kg baby potatoes, halved
8 large onions, peeled
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp Maizena
⅓ cup water
1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
2. Strip the leaves from half of the thyme sprigs. Combine with 200g butter, parsley, zest of two lemons, juice of one lemon and cumin. Rub this mixture over the surface of the chickens. Season.
3. Season the cavities and stuff each with half of the remaining thyme and one lemon, halved. Place on baking trays, along with the potatoes and six of the onions, quartered. Roast in the oven for 25–30 minutes until the skin turns golden and crisp.
4. Turn down the temperature to 160°C and cook for another 40 minutes. Then remove from the oven and cover in foil to rest for 10 minutes.
5. Finely dice the remaining two onions and fry them with the rest of the butter in a pot over medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic and fry until fragrant.
6. Pour the white wine into the pot to deglaze (create a gravy) and cook until the liquid has reduced by half. Add the chicken stock, the zest and juice of one lemon, four of the roast onion quarters and any juices from the roasting trays.
7. Using a hand blender, blitz the gravy until smooth. In a separate bowl, mix the Maizena with the water. Add this mixture to the gravy. Bring to a boil and simmer until the Maizena has cooked out and the gravy has thickened. Season.
8. Carve the chicken and serve with the gravy, roast baby potatoes and roast onions.