3-4tbsp of plain flour
100ml of white wine
400ml of chicken stock
a few drops of gravy browning (optional) for the herb butter
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1tbsp of finely chopped thyme leaves
2tbsp of finely chopped parsley
50g of butter, softened
1 lemon, zest finely grated (retaining the lemon)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas 6
2. First make the herb butter. Tip the garlic and chopped herbs into a bowl, add the butter and lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Mash together with a fork, mixing well to combine
3. Pull up the skin over the chicken breast and push half the herb butter under it. Rub the remainder over the top of the chicken and the legs. Cut the zested lemon in half and squeeze one half over the chicken, then insert into the chicken cavity
4. Place a rack in a roasting tin and sit the prepared chicken on top. Roast in the oven for 1½–2 hours (see tip) until the meat is cooked through but not dry (see tip). Remove from the tin and transfer to a board, cover with foil and leave to rest for 10 minutes
5. Take the tin containing all the cooking juices from the chicken, and place on the hob over a medium-high heat. Sprinkle over the flour and whisk until smooth, then add the wine and stock and whisk until combined and bubbling. Add a few drops of gravy browning, if you like. Pass the gravy through a sieve to remove any lumps, and adjust the seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste.
6. Carve the chicken and serve with the gravy
Mary’s foolproof tips
Roast the chicken for 20 minutes per 450g/45 minutes per 1kg, plus an additional 20 minutes. To test if the chicken is cooked, insert a small sharp knife into the thickest part of the thigh; if the juices run clear, it is done.
NB: Prepare ahead. Can be spread with herb butter and kept in the fridge for up to a day before roasting. To serve cold, roast up to 2 days ahead. The gravy can be stored in the fridge for use the following day with any leftovers
Recipe published in Feast, issue 03.