- 2.4kg whole free range chicken
- 1½ lemon
- 1½ garlic bulb
- 150g watercress
- 300g half fat crème fraîche
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- Roasting tin
- Food processor or blender(optional)
Heat your oven to 220°C/Fan 200°C/Gas 8. Remove the giblets from the cavity of the chicken. Halve your lemon. Pop one half inside the chicken cavity. Season the outside of your chicken well. Nestle in a roasting tin. If you like, tuck the giblets (apart from the liver) around the bird before roasting – it will add extra flavour. Put the tin in the oven and roast for 1 hr.
Remove the tin from the oven. Halve the bulb of garlic. Nestle the garlic halves next to the chicken. Turn the oven down to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4. Cook the chicken for a further 30 mins.
Remove the chicken from the oven, cover loosely with foil and leave to rest for at least 30 mins. Discard the giblets and reserve the pan juices.
Squeeze half of the roasted garlic out of their skins. Pop in a food processor or blender with the zest of the remaining lemon and the crème fraîche.
Wash and thoroughly dry the watercress. Set half aside. Chop the stalks, removing any really woody ones. Add to the crème fraîche. Pulse briefly till combined. Add seasoning and more garlic, to taste. If you don’t have a processor, then chop everything as finely as you can and stir into the crème fraîche.
Place the chicken on a plate or board and baste with the pan juices. Serve with the watercress crème fraîche and the remaining watercress. Alternatively, stir the watercress crème fraîche into the chicken juices and warm to make a creamy gravy.
Any leftovers? Add shreds of leftover chicken to our gorgeous Mushroom Pasanda.
Giblets tip To add extra richness to your sauce, tuck all the giblets apart from the liver (it’s the silky burgundy bit) around the bird before roasting. Simply remove them before serving. They instantly enhance the sauce. The liver is gorgeous fried in a little butter with smoked paprika, salt and pepper and served on a bed of sweet potato mash with crispy strips of pancetta and fresh thyme.