This meal is perfect for hungry humans! If you are catering for more than 5 people I suggest you buy two chickens (especially if you are expecting hungry teenage boys).
For the roast chicken:
1 free range chicken (has to be room temperature)
Bunch of rosemary
1 lemon, cut in half
1 globe of garlic
1 and half punnets of baby leeks
5 rashes of streaky bacon (optional)
1 packet of long stem broccoli
2 cups of rice
1 measuring jug
A cake stand
A flat pan
Small pot for boiling the garlic
Medium pot with an air tight lid- for the rice
1 pan for braising the leeks
Total cooking time: 1 ½- 2 hours
Turn oven onto 200° C.
Place the cake stand on top of the flat pan (the stand is used to make sure the chicken does not boil in its juices). Tuck the wings underneath the bird and place on top of the stand. Run the rosemary under hot water and massage the leaves to ensure all the beautiful flavour is released. Place the rosemary and lemon into the cavity of the bird. Season the whole chicken with a generous amount of olive oil, salt and pepper.
Cover the breasts in tin foil and cook for 40 minutes.
While the chicken is cooking, place a whole globe of garlic into hot water and blanch for 3 minutes, then leave to cool. After the chicken has cooked for 40 minutes, take it out of the oven, remove the tinfoil from the breasts and pour some more oil over them. Then cover both legs with tinfoil, place the cooled garlic globe into the pan and pour some water to stop it from burning. Cook for a further 20 – 30 minutes or until the bird is cooked through. (Test if the chicken is ready by cutting in between the leg and the breast if the juices are clear then it is ready).
Once the chicken is cooked through allow for 40 minutes resting time, the bird must be loosely covered with tinfoil and placed upside down in order for the juices to return to the breasts. While the chicken is resting the rice, leeks and broccoli are cooked.
Here is a full proof way to cook rice: Cooking time is 30 minutes.
•Boil the kettle.
•Rinse the rice with cold water until the water comes out clear, this gets rid of any extra starch.
•Turn the stove on high heat.
•Place the rice in the pot.
•Pour 1 and a half cups of boiling water, a tbsp of stock, a lug of olive oil and close the lid. YOU DO NOT LIFT THE LID UNTIL THE RICE HAS FINISHED COOKING- this tip is imperative!
•Once you hear that the water is boiling, turn the heat right down and cook for 15 minutes.
•After the 15 minutes of cooking, turn off the heat completely and allow the rice to steam for a further 15 minutes (it will be very tempting to lift the lid, but DON’T).
•Finally after the 15 minutes steaming period you can lift the lid, the result- perfectly fluffy rice.
For the leeks: Chop the bacon and fry until crispy. While the bacon is frying, chop the leeks into 2cm chunks and place them into the pan with the bacon. Pour in 1 cup of stock- keep the heat on medium and stir occasionally.
Boil the kettle and follow the instructions on the packet of the broccoli for cooking time.
For the gravy: (optional but a tasty addition). Use the pan with the juices from the chicken, and place it on the stove. Once the pan is hot add a tablespoon of flour and cook for 2 minutes. Add 180ml of stock and turn the heat down, taste and adjust the flavour with salt and pepper, if needed.
Finally dish up and enjoy the feast ❤