Our friend Irv in Washington D.C. put me onto this wonderfully care-free way to roast a chicken developed by America’s Test Kitchen TV programme.
It’s simple and hands-off (well, the chicken needs a hand getting into the oven but that’s about it!).
1 average chicken–washed and dried
sprigs of rosemary and thyme (if they are at hand or just one of them)
2 or 3 garlic cloves–unpeeled
1/2 (half) a lemon
salt and pepper
white wine for deglazing (scraping up the good bits!) and making the gravy
- Choose a pan that will hold the chicken easily.
- Turn the oven on to 450F/230C (Hot!)
- Put the empty pan in the oven–yes, empty–no oil, nothing!
- Dribble olive oil over the bird and using your clean hands or a brush, coat the chicken in olive oil.
- Season the chicken well with salt and black pepper.
- Stuff the cavity with the lemon, garlic and herbs.
- When the oven has reached its target heat, quickly take out the pan wearing oven gloves, pop the chicken on it and put the pan straight back in the oven.
- Roast the chicken for 30 minutes.
- Turn off the heat but DON’T open the oven door!
- Let the bird sit cosily in the oven for a further 30 minutes–it won’t complain.Then take the pan out of the oven and cover the chicken with foil and let it settle/rest for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove the foil and transfer the chicken to a warmed serving platter.
- Carefully spoon out excess fat in the pan–leaving the good gravy making juices behind.
- Gingerly upend the chicken and let the remaining juices inside fall back into the cooking pan.
- Deglaze the pan with the white wine on a lowish heat–stirring as the alcohol evaporates.
- Pour this gravy into a heated gravy boat or jug.
And there you have it–Irv’s simple carefree way to roast a chicken.
Ready for carving…