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There are classic dishes...and then there's a classic roast chicken!

Ultimately homely, comforting and always requested on special occasions, my family all adore this recipe. Stuffed with a decent amount of garlic, thyme and butter, it is simply delicious!

If you're a little short on time, feel free to butterfly the chicken, continue to stuff as per the recipe, slice lemon to place on top of the chicken (rather than in the cavity) and pop in a preheated oven for just 1 hour - you won't get the grandeur of the sight of the tied up chook but you will definitely be on track to serve up a ridiculously good dish!

Another thing you could do is to place whole baby potatoes around the chicken and then pop the whole thing in the oven to roast. The potatoes will cook with the juices of the chicken and then all you need to do is serve it up with a green salad of mixed lettuce, rocket, dill and cucumber slices -  a swoon worthy dish with a minimum of effort - too easy!

Anyone who loves a classic dish will enjoy this one...promise!

H xx


Serves:
 6
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1.7kg - 2kg organic whole chicken
  • 50g salted butter
  • 12 sprigs thyme
  • 4 cloves garlic, quartered
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt, pepper
  • whole lemon, cut in half

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Rinse the cavity of the chicken and then pat dry, inside and out, with a paper towel. Place in a roasting tray.
  3. Cut 30g of butter into 4 slivers and melt the remaining 20g butter. Set aside.
  4. Season the underside of the chicken. Place correct side up and using the pads of your fingers, lift the skin from the thigh of the chicken all the way up to the breast fillet. Being careful not to break the skin, place 2 slivers of butter, eight slivers of garlic and 6 sprigs of thyme above the breast fillet. Completely pull down the skin over the thigh fillet again. Repeat on the other side.
  5. Season the outside of the chicken. Dollop the mustard on top and squeeze one half of the lemon over the top. Drizzle the oil and melted butter over the whole bird and then use your hands to massage the toppings all over the chicken, making sure you get into all the nooks and crannies.
  6. Pop the remaining half lemon into the cavity and then tie the legs together with kitchen string. Tuck the wing tips under the chicken, add 1/2 cup water to the pan and then pop it in the oven for 1 hour 30 minutes or until the skin is golden brown and the juices run clear when the skin between the drumstick and the main body is pierced.
  7. Allow to rest for about 10 minutes. If you like you can make a gravy during this time by adding two tablespoons of butter in a saucepan and allow it to melt over a medium heat. Add two tablespoons of flour and stir constantly for about a minute to cook out the flour a little. Add 1/2 cup of pan juices and whisk until most of the liquid has been incorporated. Add a further 1 1/2 cups pan juices and whisk until thick and smooth. 
  8. To serve, carve up the chicken and place alongside the gravy.



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