- 110g butter at room temperature
- 1.8kg chicken
- Salt and pepper
- 1 lemon
- A few sprigs of thyme or tarragon
- 1 clove of garlic peeled and crushed
For the gravy
- I tablespoon of flour
- 250ml chicken stock
- Pre heat the oven to 230C
- Smear the butter with your hands all over the bird.
- Put the chicken in a roasting tin. Season liberally with salt and pepper and squeeze over lemon juice, put the herbs and garlic inside the cavity together with the squeezed out lemon halves – this will add a fragrant flavour to the chicken.
- Toast the chicken for 15 minutes. Baste, then turn the temperature down to 190c and roast for a further hour , occasionally basting. The chicken should be golden brown all over with a crisp skin.
- Carefully remove the tin from the oven and, using a pair of tongs, lift the chicken to a dish or board to rest for 15-20 mins. As you lift the dish, let any juices from the chicken pour out of the cavity into the roasting tin.
- While the chicken is resting, make the gravy. Place the roasting tin over a low flame, then stir in 1 tbsp flour and sizzle until you have a light brown, sandy paste.
- Gradually pour in 250ml chicken stock, stirring all the time, until you have a thickened sauce. Simmer for 2 mins, using a wooden spoon to stir, scraping any sticky bits from the tin.
- Strain the gravy into a small saucepan, then simmer and season to taste. When you carve the bird, add any extra juices to the gravy.