Who doesn’t relish the thought of winding up the weekend with a lovely Sunday roast? Although in reality, when you’re pushed for time and faced with a small kitchen and a temperamental oven, it often seems like more hassle than it’s worth. That’s what I thought anyway, until I came across this unbelievably delicious roast chicken recipe by Jo Pratt. Quick to prepare and completely idiot-proof, it’s now my go-to Sunday supper. I like to chuck a few Chantenay carrots in the pan as well, and I do a green veg option as an added extra on the side. What’s brilliant is that the recipe generates very little washing up, so you won’t spend all evening in the kitchen.
500g new potatoes
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and flattened
1 small (approx 1kg) free-range (preferably organic for optimum tastiness) chicken
1 sprig fresh rosemary
10 shallots, peeled and left whole
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small glass of sherry
1 tablespoon runny honey
200ml chicken stock
150g frozen peas
a splash of double cream
- Preheat the oven to 200˚C/fan 180˚C/gas 6
- Cook the potatoes in salted boiling water for 10-12 mins until they’re almost cooked through. Drain and cool for a few minutes.
- Rub the garlic all over the chicken, then place a couple of the cloves inside the chicken and one at either end of a large roasting tray. Add the rosemary and a drizzle of olive oil to the tray with the garlic. Quarter the lemon and rub over the chicken skin, squeezing lightly to release some of the juice. Place a couple of the quarters inside the chicken and a couple in the tray. Sit the chicken in the tray, and arrange the shallots around it. Drizzle some olive oil over everything and season lightly with salt and pepper.
- Crush each parboiled potato lightly so they are just holding their shape but crumbling at the edges. Add them to the tray and toss in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Roast for 1 hour or until the chicken is golden and the potatoes are crisp. Baste the chicken a couple of times throughout, turning the shallots and potatoes at the same time. (NB: if you want to use a larger chicken so you’ve got some leftovers, you can start it off in the oven first, before adding the shallots and potatoes.)
- When cooked (juices running clear) remove the chicken, shallots and potatoes from the tray and leave to rest in a warm oven. Throw out the rosemary, garlic and lemon. Place the roasting tray on the hob over a high heat and pour in the sherry and honey and allow to bubble. Scrape the sticky residue from the bottom of the pan and add the chicken stock. Let it boil for a few minutes before adding the peas. Bring it back to the boil and cook for 2-3 mins before stirring in the cream and some seasoning.
- Carve the chicken and serve on warm plates with the shallots and potatoes, drenched in the sherry gravy.