Topsy Turvy Crispy Roast Chicken

Prep: 9h 45 mins


1 fresh roasting chicken, weighing approximately 1 . 5kg (3 1/4 lbs)
1 lemon, cut in half
1 onion, cut in half
Fresh herb, such as rosemary, sage, parsley, tarragon, thyme
Sea salt (rock salt)
Melted butter or olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic granules


Mix all the seasoning mix ingredients together and store in a jar until needed.Remove all the wrapping from the chicken and snip the elasticated string that ties the chicken together

Wipe the chicken all over with kitchen paper to dry the skin
Sprinkle a good amount of rock salt over, making sure that you cover all the chicken

Now chill overnight or for at least 8 hours so the salt can draw out any excess moisture.Preheat the oven to 190C, 375F or gas mark 5.Remove the chicken from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking, brush and shake off the excess rock

salt.Place the chicken in the roasting tin and season inside the cavity
Push the lemon and onion inside with the herbs

These will produce steam and flavour, to keep the chicken moist
Brush the chicken all over with melted butter or olive oil, then season liberally with the rest of the seasoning mix

(The salt makes the skin crispy and the butter will keep the chicken moist.).Roast the chicken, breast side up, in the centre of the oven for 1 hour, then carefully remove the chicken, and with two roasting forks to aid you, turn the chicken over, so the breast is underneath now

Continue to cook for a further 30 minutes

Then take the chicken out and turn it over once more, with the breast side up now, and continue to roast for a further 15 minutes until crispy and golden brown.To check that it is cooked, pierce the fattest part of the thigh with a fine skewer

If the juices are pink or show traces of blood, cook the chicken a further 10-15 minutes, then check again

If the juices are pale golden, the chicken is cooked.Using two forks, lift the chicken from the roasting tin onto a large plate and reserve the cooking juices
Leave for 10 minutes before carving

This allows the juices, which have risen to the surface during cooking, to be reabsorbed into the meat to give a moist texture.Cook’s tips.How to make Gravy.Drain all but 3 tbsp of the juices from the roasting tin
Set the roasting tin on a hob and reheat the juices

Sprinkle in 2 tsp of plain flour and stir well with a wooden spoon
Gradually stir in 300ml chicken stock

Bring to the boil, stirring until thickened and smooth
Season well
If the gravy is bland, add a little mustard and a splash of soy sauce
For a special gravy, some of the stock can be replaced with red or white wine.Carving the Chicken.Hold the chicken steady with a fork, then insert a large sharp knife between the body and leg
Cut off the leg

Divide the leg in half at the joint to give a drumstick and thigh portion

Cut away the wing on the same side

Carve down the breast in thick slices

Repeat on the other side of the chicken.

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