- 1 organic whole chicken (about 1.5kg)
- olive oil
- flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lemon, halved
- 1 handful of peeled shallots, halved
- 1-2 bulbs fennel, thinly sliced
- 4 small Pink Lady apples, halved
- 250 - 500 ml organic apple juice
- watercress, to garnish
- For the crispy sweet potatoes
- 500 - 700 g small sweet potatoes
Preheat the oven to 190°C.
Wash the chicken then dry well. Rub all over with oil and salt. Pour boiling water over the lemon and slice in half. Place the lemon in the chicken cavity.
Place on a bed of shallots and fennel in an oiled roasting pan.
Roast on one side for 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Turn and add the apple, cut side down.
Roast for another 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Increase the heat to 200°C.
Turn the chicken breast side up and the apples cut side up, and pour over the apple juice. Roast for 20 minutes, basting once or twice, or until golden brown and tender.
Turn off the heat and leave to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
Take care when handling the hot lemon. Add the juice to the pan juices. Check seasoning.
To make the sweet potatoes: Scrub and prick the potatoes. Microwave until tender. Slice lengthways then crisp, skin on, in hot oil.
To serve: Serve the chicken with the pan juices, apple, sweet potatoes and lots of watercress.
Cook’s note: Serve with buttery potato-and-parsnip mash instead of sweet potatoes.
Don’t discard the carcass, but use it for a simple chicken broth.
Save time in the kitchen by using a ready-to-cook, butterflied, free-range lemon-and-herb chicken.