I first came across the idea for this recipe in a supplement of The Times newspaper, and I thought it was such a good idea to roast everything together. It not only makes for a much less stressful roast, but the vegetables are also flavoured by the chicken juices and so are especially delicious! The only requirement is that you will need a very large, deep, ovenproof pot with a lid, as the chicken sits on top of all the vegetables. Otherwise you can use whichever ingredients you like – below is a suggestion, but feel free to add/remove any extra vegetables, providing they fit in the pot!
1 medium sized whole chicken
4 rashers bacon
6 large potatoes
2 red onions
8 closed cup mushrooms
3 large carrots
6 cloves garlic
200ml white wine
100ml chicken stock
Salt and pepper
20ml olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 190C/Gas mark 5. Rinse the potatoes to remove any mud, remove the dry outer layer of the onions and peel the carrots. Roughly chop all the vegetables (leave the mushrooms whole) and slice the bacon into smaller pieces.
2. Pour half of the oil into a large, ovenproof pot. Layer the vegetables and bacon inside the pot, building them up at the sides to allow room for the chicken in the middle. Scatter the whole garlic cloves around the top.
3. Place the whole chicken on top of the vegetables (making sure the lid can be placed properly on top of the pot). Season all over with plenty of salt and pepper and pour over the remaining oil, chicken stock and wine. Make sure the skin is well seasoned. Shake the pot well to ensure everything is coated (the liquid will not cover the vegetables).
4. Put the lid on the pot and place in the oven. Roast for one hour, then remove the lid to allow the chicken skin and the vegetables to go crispy. Roast for a further half an hour.
5. Check the chicken is cooked by piercing the thickest part of the thigh with a skewer. The juices should run clear – if not, return to the oven to finish cooking. When the chicken is done remove it from the pot and leave it to rest, covered with foil, for 10-15 minutes.
6. During cooking the juices will have made a gravy. Carve the chicken and serve with the vegetables, pouring gravy on to each serving.