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Chicken pot roast

This was so good, Princess Baby ate and ate and ate....four bowls full despite having no teeth.  Other seasonal vegetables would work just as well, although vegetables that fall apart with cooking should be added towards the end. 
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 1 large chicken (1.5-2kg)
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 2 large carrots, scrubbed and cut into large chunks
  • half swede, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped large
  • 2 pints chicken stock
  • slosh of past-it red or white wine if you have some lying around 
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • handful of any wilting green leaves that need using up, if you have them
  • 1 tbsp plain flour mixed with a knob butter
  • 1 tbsp red current jelly
  1. Gently lift the skin of the chicken and place push four of the bay leaves down between the chicken skin and flesh at the top of the chicken. Tie back the skin with the string. This not only flavours the chicken beautifully but makes it look stunning too.
  2. In a very large casserole pot fry the onions in a little olive oil until soft and golden. Remove and set aside.
  3. Add the chicken to the pot, top side down, and fry until just brown. Repeat on all sides until golden.
  4. Return the onions to the pan and add the rest of the vegetables. 
  5. Stir well and add the stock, thyme and remaining bay leaf. Season to taste. 
  6. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer, place lid on top and transfer to a hot oven.   Pot roast until the chicken is cooked through, timing will depend on the size of the chicken, but likely to be between 1 1/2 and 2 hours.  
  7. Check periodically to ensure it does not dry out.
  8. About half an hour before serving, add any wilting green leaves that you might have lying around that need to be used up.
  9. When you are sure the chicken is cooked, remove it carefully, ready for carving. 
  10. With a slotted spoon, carefully remove the vegetables and place on a warmed serving platter in a circle. Place the carved chicken in the centre. 
  11. Meanwhile, make the gravy by adding the flour/butter mixture into the juices of the pot roast and whisk in to incorporate.
  12. Add the red current jelly and stir to dissolve. 
  13. Serve with green leafy vegetables, roast potatoes to a very satisfied family.