Whats the best thing about a roast dinner? The crispiest of crispy roast potatoes? A well roasted bit of meat? The fantastic array of side dishes like Yorkshire puddings, stuffing or cauliflower cheese or an onion sauce with pork and apple. Well I guess it depends upon what type of roast you go for. Beef, chicken, lamb, pork. They are all very different and each has its own little family of accompaniments but there is one thing which goes well with any roast and that is gravy. Nothing else quite makes it a roast dinner like a sumptuous and silky gravy.
Lets be honest, we all use gravy granules now and then. In fact they are a staple of a Sunday roast at home, my Gran always used them and so I do to. But after trying this recipe I think I might have been missing out on making it myself. I think its just been one of those things where you think it’s going to be far more complicated that it actually is. But it tastes so much better than gravy out of a packet, its sooo good. It the way that the chicken is cooked and the juices from it which really give the gravy its flavours.
So this is the recipe for the roast dinner I had on Sunday evening after the one I had on Sunday lunch time (the roast beef from my last post). Some may think that’s a bit greedy, but hey never mind. Its a really great recipe where you make a delicious lemon and thyme butter to pop under the skin (its a bit fiddly and odd but don’t be put off it is worth the effort)
The lovely Hana cooked this for us on Sunday so a very big thank you to her as I was quite tired after cooking and cleaning all day at my grans. That’s not to complain at all, sometimes things just need doing but I was a bit tired after it.
Lemon and thyme roast chicken with home-made gravy
2 bay leafs
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 lemons, halved
1 onion, roughly chopped
bunch of fresh thyme or dried thyme
4 garlic cloves
1 large roast chicken
250ml chicken stock
1tbsp plain flour
Preheat the oven to 200c/ gas mark 6. Prep all the ingredients as above and get the butter out so it warms up and is soft enough to work with. In a bowl mash the butter with 1/3 of the thyme, the garlic cloves and the juice and rind of half a lemon.
Loosen the skin at the back of the chicken by the cavity (you might need a knife). Gradually release the skin from the breast and push the butter mix into the gap. Stuff the cavity with the remaining lemon halves, thyme and garlic.
Scatter the carrots, onions and bay leaves in a roasting dish. Sit the chicken on top and roast for 1hr 30mins or according to the weight of your bird. Baste the chicken every 30 minutes. When its cooked and the juices run clear take it out of the dish, removing the lemon, thyme, garlic and herbs into the roasting dish. Put the chicken to the side to rest for about 15 minutes whilst you make the gravy!
Chicken gravy time. Squeeze the juice from the lemons (their hot so be careful) Place the tin over a low heat and gradually add the flour whisking all the time and sizzle till light brown. Pour in the chicken stock and slowly cook stirring all the time. It will gradually get darker and thinker the longer you cook it.
Serve poured over the gorgeous roast chicken, have some of the skin too it lovely. Nom!
Check back later this week to see the lovely Easter cupcakes Hana is making tomorrow evening for a Red Nose Day bake-sale at work.