Here we go with this week’s amazingly helpful Friday Food Fact  tips! Today  we focus on how to roast a chicken.  Perfect for a Sunday Lunch treat this weekend. You might think its simple to cook chicken, sure,  any fool can do it can’t they? Well yes they can, but if they want it to be extra nice and tasty we’ve got some advice!

Firstly always choose a free range chicken from a local supplier. The best place to find this is in your local butcher. It might cost a few extra bob but it will more than pay itself back in a fine Sunday roast and possibly some leftovers for sarnies, and then some great stock for soup when you boil up the stripped bare carcass! Good housekeeping!

We like to rub butter all over our chicken before we roast it. Gives lovely moistness during cooking and makes the skin golden and crisp.

Season after rubbing with softened butter. Use a good sea salt like Oriel  and lots of freshly ground black pepper.

You can stuff the cavity with a halved onion and some herb sprigs. These will add flavour to the juices which run out into the roasting pan for gravy.

Some folk like garlic. You can push slivers of peeled garlic, or spread pureed fresh garlic under the skin of the breast, directly onto the flesh. Just push your fingers between skin and flesh on the breast, not too roughly otherwise you will tear the skin, and like magic, a gap will open up for you to put the garlic in.

Fresh herbs are good. Stuff them in the cavity while cooking and strew some over when the bird is ready for gorgeous presentation and extra taste.

Finally, make a quick pan gravy by removing the excess fat from the roasting pan after you’ve removed the cooked bird, leaving about 1 tbsp of fat in the bottom. Make sure you don’t throw any of the juices away. Stir in 1 tbsp flour and cook for a minute over the heat. Then add 300mls chicken stock, bring to bubbling to for a few moments to reduce and thicken, stirring.  Season before straining into a gravy boat. If you are gluten intolerant, leave out the flour amd reduce the chicken juices with the stock – it won’t make any difference other than the gravy will be thin.

Don’t forget the roasties and some lovely seasonal greens to accompany. Happy Sunday Lunch!