Best-Ever Roast Chicken (we think!)

A simple, but delicious, way to enjoy the flavour and texture of Angel Cottage Organics chicken.

  • 1 chicken
  • 50g butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Handful of garlic cloves
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt & pepper
  • Half a glass of white wine

Remove any string from the chicken, place the bird in a roasting tin and enlarge the body cavity with your fingers. Smear the butter over the chicken, pulling the legs away from the body as you do so and leaving a good knob of butter between each leg and the body. Place a final knob of butter inside the cavity. Cut the lemon in half; put one half inside the cavity and squeeze the juice of the other half over the chicken. Bash the garlic cloves with your fist (or the blade of a knife) enough to break their skins, add them to the roasting tin with a splash of olive oil and the squeezed out lemon half for good measure. Season the bird well with salt and pepper.

Place the roasting tin in the centre of a hot over (210ºc, gas mark 6) and roast for 20 minutes. Turn the oven down to 180ºc, gas mark 4, baste the bird with any pan juices, add the wine to the roasting tin (don’t pour it over the bird) and roast for a further 40-50 minutes, depending on the size of your chicken. A larger bird will take longer and you may need to cover the breast with buttered foil to stop it from burning. Test to see if the bird is cooked by piercing it where the thigh meets the breast. If the juices run clear the chicken is cooked.

Turn the oven off, open the door and allow the bird to rest for at least 20 minutes.

Carve and serve – you’ll find there will be enough buttery, lemony, garlicky juices in the tin for you not to need gravy!

Chicken Carcass Stock

Once you have enjoyed your roast chicken and have used any leftovers in curry, stir-fry, salad or sandwiches, don’t forget to make stock with the carcass. This stock will form the basis for a beautiful soup or risotto.

  • 1 chicken carcass
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A few parsley stalks

Place the chicken carcass in a large saucepan. Peel and quarter the onion. Cut the carrots and celery into large chunks. Put onion, carrot and celery into the pan with the chicken and add the pepper, bay and parsley. Cover the contents of the pan with cold water. Put the lid on and bring to the boil. Once boiling, allow to simmer for 1 hour. Carefully strain the pan contents through a colander into a bowl, allow to cool slightly and then refrigerate. The stock will keep for 3-5 days in the fridge and freezes very well.

Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Boulangère Potatoes

We always had our lamb shoulders boned and rolled before discovering this recipe. Now we keep the bone in and cook the meat slowly, allowing all its flavours to develop. As it does so, the potatoes cook around it in a delicious combination of stock and lamb fat. We always leave this in the oven whilst we walk to the pub for a Sunday lunchtime drink. Because the meat is cooking slowly, it doesn’t mind if we’re a bit late back!

  • 1 large shoulder of lamb
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1kg onions
  • 1kg potatoes
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • Large glass of white wine
  • 500ml of stock – lamb or vegetable
  • Salt & pepper

Place the lamb in a roasting tin. Massage over some of the oil and add the rest to the tin. Season well with salt and pepper. Roast in a hot oven (220ºc, gas mark 7) for half an hour.

Meanwhile, peel and thinly slice the onions; peel and thickly slice the potatoes; peel the garlic cloves and cut into pieces. Remove the roasting tin from the oven and pour off any excess fat. Scatter the onions, potatoes and garlic around the meat in rough layers, seasoning with salt and pepper as you go. Pour over the wine and stock so that it just about covers the potatoes. Cover the tin with foil and return to the oven, setting the heat now at a slow 140ºc, gas mark 1. Leave for about 4 hours.

Remove the lamb from the tin and place in warm place to rest. Toss the potatoes in the liquid and return to the oven with the heat back up at 220ºc, gas mark 7 so that they crisp and brown.

Serve meltingly tender chunks of meat with spoonfuls of potato. You might like some palate cleansing greens to go with it.