This roast chicken is perfect for a Sunday roast. The tender chicken with its crispy skin and umami-rich sauce is unbeatable. The chicken is browned in a pan before roasting to give it extra flavour from the Maillard reaction.
The first few steps of this recipe involve making a chicken stock to make a chicken sauce. This is a time-consuming but worthwhile step because homemade chicken stock is superior to shop-bought stock and you will have some bones spare from the preparation of the chicken. If you don’t want to make your own stock you can use 1 litre of shop-bought chicken stock.
1 onion, peeled
2 celery sticks
2 carrots, peeled
3 sprigs of parsley
2 small chickens
2 bulbs of garlic, broken up into cloves
8 rosemary sprigs
75ml double cream
1) Make a chicken stock for the chicken sauce by chopping the onion, carrots and celery sticks into large chunks. Place them in a large saucepan with the parsley. Cut the backbones out of the chickens using kitchen scissors and remove the wingtips, and place these all in the large saucepan with the chopped vegetables.
2) For the roast chicken, cut each chicken into four pieces – 2 leg pieces and 2 breast pieces – and generously season all over with sea salt. Place in the fridge and take it out one hour before you brown the chicken.
3) For the stock, cover the ingredients in the saucepan with cold water, bring it to the boil then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for three hours, skimming occasionally to remove any impurities. Strain and set aside.
4) Preheat the oven to 220°C. Line two roasting tins with foil, drizzle with olive oil and scatter over the rosemary sprigs and the garlic cloves. Wipe the salt off of the chicken over the sink and dry the chicken well with a paper towel to achieve a crispy skin once it’s cooked. Heat a large frying pan, add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan and when it’s hot, brown the chicken over a medium-high heat without overcrowding the pan. Once browned, place into the prepared trays, along with any fat from the pan, season with salt and pepper and roast for 15 minutes. Turn the temperature down to 200°C and roast for 15 minutes, then turn the oven to the grill setting for 5 minutes or until the skin is very crispy. Ensure that the chicken is cooked by checking that the juices run clear when a knife is inserted.
5) Deglaze the frying pan with the chicken stock, reducing it by boiling it over a high heat until it is thick.
6) Transfer the reduced stock to a small saucepan and place it over a low heat.
7) Remove the chicken from the oven, pour the roasting juices into the small saucepan and finish the sauce by whisking in the double cream until the sauce is smooth and glossy.