Roasted Chicken scented with Lemon and Rosemary, with a Rosemary Jus

Roasted Chicken scented with Lemon and Rosemary, with a Rosemary Jus

For me there is nothing better than a roast, and chicken has to be one of the best - I've often included it in my 'last supper' menu.

For how many? Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 large (4kg) chicken, or 2 small (2kg) ones
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 head of garlic, cut in half
  • 30g fresh thyme
  • 1 large sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 150g unsalted butter, softened
  • 100ml water
  • For the rosemary jus:
  • 30ml vegetable oil
  • 700g chicken wing or bones, chopped small
  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, sliced into thick rings
  • 1 head of garlic, cut in half
  • 10 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 5 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 50ml Armagnac
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 200ml veal glace, optional (if you don't have it thicken with cornflower)

Instructions

Chicken: Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Remove any giblets from inside the chicken, season the inside and place the 1/2 lemon, garlic, thyme and rosemary in the cavity. Place in a roasting tray. Spread the softened butter all over the outside of the chicken, and season. Place in the oven and cook for 1 1/2 hours, basting from time to time. About 10 minutes before the end of cooking, carefully pour in the water. When the chicken is cooked, take it out of the oven, immediately add the lemon juice and leave to rest. Remove the chicken from the tray after 15 minutes, and strain off the juices into a pan.

Rosemary jus: While the chicken is roasting, heat the oil in a small roasting tray on the hob. Add the chicken wing or carcasses, then the butter, and cook until browned. Add the onion rings, let them lightly colour, then add the garlic, thyme and rosemary. Deglaze the pan with the Armagnac, then add the chicken stock and veal glace (if using). Bring to the boil, skim away any scum, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes. Strain in a colander, then pass through a fine sieve. Put back into the pan and reduce to the consistency you like, then correct the seasoning and pass through a fine sieve. Pour the roasting juices into the sauce. If not using the veal glace you will need to thicken the jus with corn starch.

To serve: Put your bird on a carving tray and serve with the rosemary sauce and the usual accompaniments.

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