Roast chicken with garlic and bay

Serves 2-4
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If you can afford it, it's always worth shelling out for a quality free-range chicken. Some of the larger free-range birds will most certainly feed four people, as I found when I recently tried the chickens from Packington Poultry. I've used jumbo garlic here which you can get from good greengrocers; it's ideal for roasting and baking as the cloves are the size of a standard head of garlic.

1 free-range chicken, preferably with its livers
6 bay leaves
2 heads of jumbo garlic or 4 heads of normal, halved
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
100g butter for basting

Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6.

Rub the chicken with the butter, season inside and out and place in a roasting tray with the garlic, then put the bay leaves in the cavity.

Roast for about 1-1¼ hours, basting regularly until the juices run clear when a skewer or knife tip is inserted into the thickest part of the thigh. When cooked, remove the chicken from the oven and leave to rest in a warm place for 15 minutes. To serve, remove the legs and cut them at the joint, remove the breasts and slice them a few times and arrange on a warmed serving dish with the bay and garlic and serve with gravy.