- 1.6kg whole, free-range chicken
- 1 lemon
- 2 tsp cajun seasoning
- A handful of thyme
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Heat your oven to 180ºC/Fan 160ºC/Gas 4. Unwrap your chicken and take out the giblets (you can save them to make chicken stock). Put it in a roasting tin and leave it to get up to room temperature.
Quarter your lemon. Squeeze half the lemon over the chicken. Toss the squeezed lemon pieces into the roasting tin. Squeeze the juice from the remaining 2 pieces into the cavity of the chicken, then put the squeezed lemons inside too.
Tuck a third of your thyme sprigs in the cavity. Slip another third of your thyme under the bird. Save the remaining sprigs for later. Sprinkle 1 tbsp of the Cajun spice and a good pinch of salt and pepper over the chicken and massage it all over the skin. Cover the whole dish tightly with foil. Roast in the oven for 1 hr.
Remove the chicken from the oven. Crank the oven up to 220ºC/Fan 200ºC/Gas 7. Uncover the chicken. Baste with the roasting juices. Put the chicken back in the oven for 20-30 mins or till golden. Check the chicken is cooked by piercing the thigh near the bone with a sharp knife. The juices should run clear. If not, return to the oven and cook till they do.
Remove the chicken from the oven. Cover it with foil and set aside to rest for 30 mins to 1 hr before carving. The roasting juices are so good they make an instant gravy. Just drizzle them over the carved meat, scatter over the remaining thyme leaves and get stuck in.
Any leftovers?^ Shred any leftover chicken and stir through our Smoke & Spice Veg Stew. Find the recipe at www.abelandcole.co.uk/recipes