Roast Chicken with Thyme, Lemon and Gravy

February 2, 2013

Chef Marco Pierre White shows us how to make this easy Roast Chicken with Thyme, Lemon and Gravy. In just 15 minutes (plus 1 hour cook time), you'll have a delicious dinner the whole family will love. Watch the video for easy step by step instructions and get the roast chicken recipe below.

So what I’m going to do for you now is roast chicken with roasting juices with parsley, very simple.  And what we do is we make a paste.  I reckon that we do two.  I’m not saying we’ll use them all, if we don’t use them now we’ll use them in the juices later.  And get a little bit of olive oil, just slowly mix it in.  There’s no rush.  The first thing we do is season the inside of the bird.  I’m not going to take the string off yet because it’s holding the bird together because I’ll take it off when it’s finished cooking.  So just get your hand in and season the inside of the cavity.  By seasoning the inside of the cavity, when the chicken starts to cook, the flavoring within the inside of the cavity starts to infiltrate the chicken.  And then again get in all the crevices and just start to massage it into your chicken.

And then my mother-in-law who is my favorite cook, taught me to put thyme and lemon inside the chicken.  And what it does actually, apart from flavor the chicken it slows down the cooking of the chicken because when I was a boy, ducks, chickens were always stuffed so therefore your chicken cooked from the outside in, not from the inside out.  So it just slows it down.

So then what we’re going to do is olive oil in the pan, roast chicken, get some heat into the pan so then when we put it into the oven it’s starting to cook straightaway.  And I reckon a chicken like this will take approximately an hour to cook with a good rest.

This is a chicken from the supermarket, free range, £7.36.  You’ll get four portions out of that, which I suppose to have a roast chicken with the juices on the plate at nearly two quid a portion which is not bad.

As you can see now, we’re getting the heat into the chicken.  And by getting the heat into the chicken what happens is now, underneath it’s starting to slowly caramelize, and we’ll use that sediment later for the sauce.  Lemon wouldn’t work with a pheasant, it wouldn’t work with a guinea fowl, but there’s nothing wrong in putting flavors in, like a bit of bay leaf, a bit of thyme.  When I roast pheasants and partridges I tend to see them first, which is backpack them and then roast them at a certain temperature for a certain length of time, depending on which bird.

Continuing watching video here for further instructions.

Roast Chicken with Thyme, Lemon and Gravy

4 1/2 pound chicken
2 Knorr Chicken Stock Cubes for paste and 1 extra
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/4 cup of water
1 lemon
A handful of fresh thyme
A handful of fresh flat leaf parsley

Pre-heat the oven to 350°F

Mix one Knorr Chicken Stock Cube with 1 tbsp olive oil to form a paste.

Rub the paste all over the skin of the bird and inside the cavity (leave the string on for now).

Place the whole lemon (not cut) and thyme inside the cavity of the bird to gently infuse the meat of the chicken.

Heat some oil in your thick-bottomed pan or roasting tray and cook the chicken over the hob for 3-4 minutes (no need to turn it over or on its sides). This will give you some juice that we’ll use for our gravy later.

Place the chicken in the oven for 50-60 minutes, depending on the size of the bird. Check to make sure the chicken is cooked and the juices run out clear when tested with a knife.

Take out of the oven, place in a bowl and cover with cling film to keep the vapour from evaporating, making the chicken dry. Leave to rest while you do the gravy.

Meanwhile make the gravy by first pouring the fat from the roasting pan into a separate bowl. In your pan, add 300 ml water to the remaining Knorr Chicken Stock Cube and place on a hot hob. Boil rapidly for about 15 minutes.

While this is cooking, carve your chicken – add any small bits to your gravy.

Check your gravy, scraping all the crusty gems of flavor from the pan. Add some more water if needed; add in the roughly chopped parsley and the chicken fat.

Pour gravy over the chicken and serve.