Method for the brine:
This simple brine locks in juices, enhancing the natural flavour of the chicken!
- Bring 1 litre of water to a boil with the salt and sugar.
- Add herbs, spices and peel then remove from heat.
- Add the final 1 litre of cold water and chill.
- Immerse chicken in the chilled solution for 6 to 12 hours.
- Remove from brine and quickly rinse in cold water then air dry before roasting.
Roast the chicken on a trivet of vegetables (equal amounts onion, carrot and celery with a bay leaf and few sprigs of thyme).
- Preheat oven to 180°C fan assisted or 200°C without a fan (gas 6).
- Massage the chicken with a little melted butter.
- Roast for 1 hour.
- Serve as a traditional roast with Yorkshire puddings, roast potatoes and charred Hispi cabbage.
Method for the Yorkshire puddings:
- Using a handheld whisk mix all the ingredients except the fat together to form a smooth batter then leave to rest for a couple of hours at room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 200°C fan assisted or 220°C without a fan (gas 7).
- Add a spoon full of fat to each Yorkshire pudding tin, place in the oven for 5 minutes until very hot then remove from oven.
- Carefully pour the batter into each tin three-quarters full, place back in the centre of the oven and cook for approximately 20 minutes; the puddings will have risen, with golden brown edges ready to serve.
Method for the Roast Chicken Gravy:
- Using the same roasting tray the chicken has been roasted in, drain away any excess juices and reserve.
- Place the roasting tray over low heat and add the butter, when the butter melts and foams a little add the flour and stir in well to form a paste.
- Add the Madeira wine if using and reduce by half, then gradually pour the roasting juices and the stock back into the roasting tray until the gravy comes to a simmer and thickens. Simmer gently for 5 minutes until rich and glossy then check the seasoning.
- Strain the gravy through a fine sieve into a saucepan and keep warm.
- Carve the chicken dividing the breast and leg meat evenly, serve with Yorkshire puddings, roasties, seasonal vegetables and the gravy.