• 2kg chicken
• Sea-salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to season
• 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 brown onion, diced
• 2 celery sticks, thickly sliced
• 8 cloves garlic, peeled
• 3 bay leaves
• 1 sprig rosemary
• 2 tsp cornflour
• 1 Tbsp water
• Juice of 1 lemon
• Steamed potatoes tossed in chopped parsley, to serve
NOTE: Allow 15 minutes resting time.
Preheat oven to 160°C. Pat chicken cavity and skin dry with paper towel. Tuck wings to sit under body, then season bird generously
Heat oil in a large heavy-based cast iron saucepan with lid (also known as a French oven) over a medium heat. Cook chicken, breast-side down, for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Turn chicken over, being careful not to tear skin.
Arrange onion, celery, garlic, bay leaves and rosemary around chicken. Put lightly dampened baking paper
over chicken, then cover with lid and bake for 1½ hours or until chicken is cooked and juices run clear when pierced at the hip joint. Transfer to a large roasting pan, cover loosely with foil and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
Combine cornflour and water in a small bowl and set aside. Strain pan juices through a fine sieve into a small saucepan. Bring to the boil over a low heat, then add cornflour mixture, whisking continuously until sauce thickens. Stir in lemon juice. Serve chicken with steamed potatoes and gravy on the side.