Whole Roast Chicken with Onion Gravy

2013-08-01
  • Yield : 1.5 to 2kg
  • Servings : 4 - 6
  • Prep Time : 15m
  • Cook Time : 60m
  • Ready In : 1:20 h

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken (1.5 to 2kg weight)
  • 1 large onion halved/quartered
  • 1 medium carrot cut into 4 pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic – crushed (optional)
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 5g fresh sage
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
  • butter or fat for brushing
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour mixed in a little water (optional)

Method

Preheat the oven on 200 degrees C for 10 minutes. Clean the whole chicken if not already clean. Place the chicken in a roasting dish and rub the chicken with salt and pepper all over. Fill the cavity of the chicken with the onions, carrots, garlic if used and bay leaves. Gently separate and loosen the skin of the chicken away from the breast and the thighs while still whole and intact and place as many sage leaves  as it will allow. Either brush or rub the chicken all over with some fat, lard, margarine, butter as preferred. When ready to bake leave chicken uncovered and bake in the centre of the preheated oven for first 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 180 degrees C and place foil to cover the chicken loosely and bake for a further 30 to 40 minutes. Depending on the size of the chicken I would suggest after the recommended time is up that you insert a knife point in the thick part of the chicken thigh close to the bone to see if the knife comes out clean and that the chicken is no longer pink. When satisfactorily cooked drain all of the roasting juice from the roasting tin into a saucepan and remove any loose bulky ingredients like the onions carrots and the bay leafs. Cover the chicken and return it to the oven on warm setting while assembling the gravy.

You may find there’s 1 cup of roasting juice left in the pan that you can make gravy with. Depending on how much gravy you like either proceed with the roasting juice as it is or add 1 cup of chicken stock to make the gravy go further. Return the onions back to a saucepan with the roasting juice and add extra stock if you like and bring to boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer covered for 10 minutes to infuse the onion flavour. Once ten minutes  is up check for seasoning and season with salt and pepper accordingly. The onions can be left in the gravy in chunks as it is or you can sieve the whole gravy and mash the onions to pulp while sieving. To make the gravy thicker add a teaspoon of cornflour mixed in a little bit of water and stir through the gravy while simmering it and then serve with the roast chicken. Alternatively, instead of using cornflour you could add 2 teaspoons of gravy powder to thicken the gravy but keep in mind that gravy powders do contain salt and you will have to adjust your stock accordingly. I left my onions in chunks and rough, see photo. Serve with roast potatoes and vegetables of your choice also (see photo).

Variations and Suggestions

You would have noticed that I have kept my roast chicken very basic with a minimum of fuss. Some will have stuffed their chicken with bread crumbs, nuts, herbs etc but I shall keep this simple and later on  I will provide you with a fantastic stuffing recipe that you could use for chicken. IT is so good that you can roast the stuffing as a substitute for meat for those who don’t like meat.  So keep a look-out for my ‘Le Sage’ stuffing. I first learnt this from the mother of one of Stephen’s two best friends. It was my first introduction to delicious Western home cooking Jersey-style. I look forward to sharing it with you.

Chicken roasted this way can be substituted for bought BBQ chicken which can be overly salty or even over or under-cooked sometimes! By roasting it yourself you can control what you wish as ingredients and seasoning. Placing the chicken on a wire rack over the baking dish will give you that crispy skin and BBQ’d look.

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