Roasting a chicken on a Sunday is one of my favourite things in the world. I know many people like to spend as little time as possible cooking but it’s the opposite for me when it comes to Sunday roast dinner. Once I’ve returned from the boot sale, where I will have bought my veggies and free range rooster (and lots of other less essential treasures, or as Glen puts it: “more bloody plates, glasses and shit”), I will orchestrate it so I can spend hours pottering away in the kitchen – wine open, Radio 4 on and me doing the occasional little happy dance to myself.
This year I grew Jerusalem Artichokes and whilst I adore their taste I am somewhat less fond of their unfortunate and rather explosive side effects, hence their nickname “fartichokes”. Glen refuses point blank to eat them anymore and I didn’t want them to go to waste so this recipe was born. It’s a great way of cooking a chicken as you can leave it happily in the oven for a couple of hours (even 3) and it doesn’t dry out. The chicken takes on all of the wonderful flavours and you get THE most amazing gravy ever. I roast my potatoes in a separate tray in the bottom of the oven then move them up later on. You don’t have to eat the artichokes, the flavours have infused the chicken, but I can never resist and I always regret it later!
- 1 chicken/rooster/capon whatever you fancy
- half a lemon
- bunch of fresh thyme
- Jerusalem Artichokes peeled and quartered
- 1 bulb of garlic
- 1 heaped tablespoon garlic powder
- 400ml cream sherry
- salt and pepper
- Preheat your oven to its hottest setting, mine is 230C.
- Put your lemon and thyme inside the bird’s cavity and put it into a big roasting tray.
- surround the chicken with the artichokes and unpeeled garlic cloves.
- season the chicken with salt and pepper then sprinkle the garlic powder over the bird and artichokes.
- Pour the sherry into the roasting tray.
- Cover with tinfoil making sure there are no gaps for steam to escape then roast for about 2 hours in the top of the oven. Put your roasties in the bottom for now.
- After 2 hours (or longer is fine) remove the tinfoil, drizzle the bird with olive oil and roast uncovered for about 20 minutes or until the skin is nice and brown. I like my wing tips crispy so always give them a good rub of oil.
- Remove the bird and place it on a plate covered in tin foil and a tea towel to rest.
- Take your artichokes out of the tray and add them to your roast potato tray which now moves up to where the chicken was to get them all crispy and lovely (or throw them away if you don’t want to be farting furiously later).
- The pan juices will taste amazing, just thicken them slightly by making a Buerre Maniè and whisking it into the juices whilst on the hob.