Annie Bell's Very Juicy Roast Chicken

A particularly succulent variation, with plenty of shallots to transform into a superb gravy.


Here the bird is part-poached before roasting.

1. Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/425F/gas 7. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Plunge the chicken breast-down into the water and simmer over a low heat for 10 minutes. Drain the bird and pat dry with kitchen paper.
2. Pile the shallots in the middle of a roasting tray. Scatter over half the thyme, season with salt and pepper and drizzle over a little oil. Place the chicken on top of the shallots, covering them as much as possible, though it doesn’t matter if a few are sticking out. Scatter over the rest of the thyme, drizzle over some oil and season. Pour water a few millimetres deep into the base of the dish and roast for 40 minutes. Rest out of the oven for 15 minutes, then carve and serve with the shallots.
3. If you wish, make a gravy using the roasting juices: skim off the surface fat and simmer for a minute or two, stirring until slightly thickened. Sieve into a bowl or jug.

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