1 chicken, about 2 kg, giblets removed
½ lemon, cut in half
1 handful thyme
1 handful rosemary
1 handful tarragon
1 onion large, cut into fat discs
- The day before you want to cook the chicken, take it out of any wrapping, sit in a large ceramic dish (to catch any juices that drip out) and leave it uncovered in the fridge on the lowest shelf.
- The next day, take the chicken out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for 50 minutes before you start cooking. Heat the oven to 220C/fan 200C.
- Brush the chicken with olive oil, season it with salt and pepper inside and out, then put the lemon quarters and a few sprigs of herbs in the cavity.
- Put the chicken in a shallow roasting tin on top of the onion discs, add a splash of water to the tin and roast for 20 minutes. Turn the oven down to 180C/fan 160C and cook for another hour. Check to see if the chicken is cooked by pushing a skewer into the thigh and checking that the juices run out clear, not pink. Cook for a little longer if you need to, then remove the bird from the oven and leave to rest for 15 minutes before carving. This lets the juices re-absorb, giving juicy, succulent meat that’s easier to carve.