Spicy French Chicken


A whole free range or corn fed chicken

A chunk of onion

A whole lemon cut in half

Parsley leaves and stalks

A few bay leaves blended with paprika

Salt and pepper

A knob of butter or two

A cup of water

A tablespoon of cornflour


Preheat the oven to 190C

Place the chicken on a rack over a roasting tray

Cover with the ground bay leaves, paprika, salt and pepper

Dot with butter and squeeze half a lemon on the chicken, then pop the lemon and onion inside the chicken to create steam inside.  Put the chicken in the oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken.  Take the chicken out and cover with tin foil to rest for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, pour the residual juices into a pan, mix the cornflour with the water and pour that in the pan.  Simmer until you have a sauce.

Maybe serve with potato dauphinoise.  Rub a pyrex dish with garlic and olive oil or butter.  Add thin rounds of potatoes.  They should be floury, such as King Edwards, Desiree or Maris Piper Add 500 ml of double cream.  Bake with the chicken and decorate with flat leaf parsley.  The cream can split if the oven is too hot, so if you are lucky enough to have a second oven, put them at a lower temperature of 140C.