This recipe has been a favourite in our family for many years. It’s been used for many occasions: Christmas, family reunions, a fiftieth birthday celebration and even a wake or after a funeral.
This usually serves 4-6 but you can stretch it out a bit if you add more vegetables.
2kg chicken (whole)
1 fresh lemon
2 celery stalks
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
500g-800g roasting potatoes (because I am feeding a family of 8, I always use over 1kg of potatoes)
1 small butternut pumpkin
6 garlic cloves
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
Preheat oven to 180 degrees
Preparing the Vegetables.
Cut celery stalks into thirds.
Cut lemon into eighths.
Peel and cut Parsnips into thirds
Potatoes should be peeled and cut into quarters for large potatoes, half for small. If you want to leave the skin on your potatoes, that is rather tasty as well.
Peel garlic cloves and leave actual clove intact.
Peel and cut up pumpkin into chunks to match potato size.
Preparing the chicken.
Place cake drying rack into the bottom of a large roasting pan. Place the chicken on top and drizzle extra virgin olive oil over as much of the chicken as possible. Season with salt and pepper.
Place lemon quarters and chopped celery around the chicken, making sure that you distribute both the lemon and the celery evenly on each side..
Roast for 30 to 35 minutes
Add parsnip, garlic cloves, potatoes and pumpkin and roast for a further 55 to 60 minutes.
Chicken will be ready when you push a skewer into the heaviest part and clear liquid runs out. Remove and then serve hot.
The juices in the bottom of the pan will work nicely as a gravy for your roast, which you can make by adding some Gravox, or just leave it as is and drizzle it over your meal.
With this recipe, you can change the vegetables around to those that suit you and your family. You can also stuff the chicken with either packet or home-made stuffing to add something a little extra to the meal, as well as the flavour.
If you find that you have chicken left over (this never happens in this household, too many kids for that) you can refrigerate it when it is cool and snack on it for supper, or make it part of lunch the following day.