Roast chicken with garlic and verjuice

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Indy Lifestyle Online

We get our Verjuice from Maggie Beer at www.maggiebeer.com.au but it's also available from Harvey Nichols (tel: 020 7235 5000).

Serves 6

1 plump, organic, free-range chicken, weighing roughly 4kg/8lb
20 cloves garlic, whole and unpeeled
1 lemon
A small bunch of rosemary
200ml/7fl oz verjuice
30ml/1fl oz extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
120ml/4fl oz water

Heat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas7. Blanch the garlic cloves in boiling water for 5 minutes and set aside.

Cut the lemon in half and place inside the cavity of the chicken. Add the rosemary and season well inside and out with the salt ` and pepper. Mix the verjuice with the olive oil and brush over the skin of the chicken, reserving some for later. Put the bird on top of a trivet in a large baking tray. Place in the hot oven and cook for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 180C/350F/Gas4. Pour the rest of the verjuice and olive oil over the bird and pour the water around its base and return to the oven for a further 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, turn it down still further to 120C/250F/Gas1/2 and scatter the garlic over the chicken and cook another 40 minutes. Finally, turn the chicken over to brown the underside for 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and place on a warm serving plate. Cover loosely but well with foil and allow to rest for 20 minutes. Pour the juices from the pan into a jug and place in the fridge. Just before serving, scoop away the fat that has risen to the top and warm the remaining juice. Carve the chicken, arrange on plates and pour the warm sauce over the top. Serve with the roasted garlic.

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