Lemon and Garlic Roast Chicken

*Lemon and Garlic Roast Chicken*
Serves 4

Nothing is more comforting than a delicious dinner of Roast Chicken and vegetables. Crisp skin on the outside, and succulent, flavourful, tender and juicy meat on the inside. This is my way of achieving just that. Lemon and Garlic bring out the best in chicken. The three just go together like peas and carrots!

1 medium sized roasting chicken, about 2 kg in weight
2 unwaxed lemons
3 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
3 TBS butter
3 sprigs of thyme
Sea Salt and cracked black pepper to taste
A drizzle of olive oil

Pre-heat the oven to 200*C/400*F. Take one of the lemons and slice very thinly. Place half of the slices in the bottom of a heavy roasting pan along with half of the sliced garlic. Set aside while you prepare the chicken.

Wash the chicken and pat it dry with paper towels. Season it well inside with salt and pepper. Loosen the skin over the chicken breasts with your fingers, being very careful not to tear it. Push a few slices of the sliced lemon in under the skin on each side along with some of the remaining garlic slices, 1 TBS of butter and a sprig of thyme. Put the rest of the lemon, the last TBS of butter and a sprig of thyme into the cavity of the chicken. Place the whole chicken on top of the sliced lemon and garlic in the roasting pan. Dust the whole thing with some salt and pepper and drizzle with some olive oil. Place in the heated oven.

Roast, uncovered for approximately 45 minutes per kg, or until the juices run clear when pierced with a fork. Baste the chicken every fifteen minutes after the first half hour has passed with the pan juices.

Remove from the oven and let it sit to rest for about 10 to 15 minutes before serving. If you wish you can skim off all the fat from the pan and make a delicious gravy with the juices that are left behind.

To make a gravy: Skim off all the fat from the pan, except for about 2 TBS. Add several TBS of flour to the remaining drippings and any juices from the chicken. Stir until smooth, and cook over medium heat for about a minute. Slowly pour in 2 cups of heated chicken stock, stirring until it is thickened and smooth. Taste for seasoning. Serve.
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