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- 2 lemons
- 1 free-range chicken, approximately 1.5kg (3lb 6oz)
- 1 bunch lemon thyme
- 2 red onions, cut into wedges
- 6 garlic cloves
- butter or oil, for basting
for the gravy:
- dash dry sherry (or white wine, if you prefer)
- 150ml (1⁄4pt) good quality chicken stock
- 1tsp cornflour (optional)
Preheat the oven to 190 C, 170 C fan, 375 F, gas 5. Slice 1 lemon, lay the slices in a roasting tin and put the chicken on top. Halve the other lemon, squeeze the juice into the cavity and add half the thyme.
Arrange the onions around the chicken. Add the garlic. Tuck in the rest of the thyme around the chicken’s thighs. Pour about 3cm (1.25in) water into the roasting tin, rub the butter or oil into the chicken breast and season.
Roast the chicken for about 90 minutes, until the juices run clear when you pierce the thickest part of the thigh.
When the chicken is cooked, remove from the oven and cover with foil. Place the onions and lemon in a bowl, cover and keep warm.
Put the roasting tin over a low heat on the hob, add the sherry, and bring to the boil. Scrape the bottom of the tin. Add the stock and allow to reduce slightly until you have a light gravy. You can mix the cornflour with a little water, add to the gravy then bubble until thickened. Season well and strain.
Serve the chicken with the red onions and the gravy poured over, with buttered Jersey royals and steamed spring vegetables.
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