- 1.6kg whole, free range chicken
- 1½ tsp Szechuan peppercorns
- 3 garlic cloves
- 75g tamari
- A pinch or two of dried chilli flakes
- 60g honey
Heat your oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4. Unwrap your chicken. Remove the giblets. Put the chicken in a roasting tin. Tie the legs together at the bone with kitchen string. Let the chicken get up to room temperature.
Add 1 tsp Szechuan peppercorns to a pestle and mortar. Grind till coarsely crushed. No pestle and mortar? Pop them in a small bowl and use a jam jar or the end of a rolling pin to crush them. Peel and grate the garlic. Add to the Szechuan peppercorns with a pinch or two of dried chilli flakes (use as much or as little as you prefer. They’re spicy). Grind to make a thick paste. Stir in the tamari and honey.
Pour the Szechuan sauce all over the chicken. Rub it in to make sure the chicken is well coated. Cover the roasting tin tightly with foil. Roast in the oven for 1 hr.
Remove the chicken from the oven. Crank the oven temp up to 220°C/Fan 200°C/Gas 7. Uncover the chicken. Baste well with the juices from the tin. Return to the oven for 15-20 mins or till golden and the juices on the fattest part of the leg run clear when poked with a skewer or knife. Cook a little longer if the juices aren’t clear.
Pop the chicken on a board. Loosely wrap in foil. Let the chicken rest for a good 30 mins before carving. Pour the roasting juices into a jug. Let them cool. When the fat rises to the top, scoop it off. Warm the juices for 1-2 mins and serve them with the chicken.