Method

For best results, prepare the chicken a day prior to cooking, or at least 5 hours before. Start this recipe by patting dry the skin of the chicken using kitchen towel. Place in a large oven dish and put aside. Next, place the oil in a small bowl or pestor and mortar and crumble in the chicken stock cube. Mix together to form a paste. Finely grate the zest of the lemons and add to the stock cube paste along with the chopped rosemary, thyme, garlic, and butter. Season well with salt and pepper and mix together to create a lovely, fragrant marinade. Rub this mixture all over the skin of the chicken, making sure that you coat every inch. Cut the lemons into quarters and stuff into the chicken, along with the extra sprigs of rosemary. Tie the capon legs together with a small piece of string and cover with a large piece of foil. Allow the flavours to infuse overnight or for at least 5 hours. When you are ready to cook the chicken, heat the oven to 180`c. Remove the chicken from the fridge and pour the wine into the bottom of the dish. Cover again completely with foil. Bake the preheated oven for approximately 1 hour- 1hour 15 minutes. Half way through the cooking time, remove the foil. It is also imperative that you continually baste the chicken with all of the juices in the bottom of the tray every 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, after 30 minutes minutes of cooking time, prepare the potatoes. Place the cubed potatoes on a large baking tray and drizzle over the olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper and mix together well. Spread the potato cubes out evenly in one layer only. Sprinkle over the diced pancetta and rosemary leaves and bake in the oven at 200`c for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.

Just before the chicken is cooked through, carefully pour the juices at the bottom of the dish into a small saucepan. Use these juices to make the most delicious gravy. All that you need to do is mix a heaped teaspoon of flour in a glass with a little water. Add this to the hot juices, mixing continuously with a whisk. Continue to cook the gravy for a minute or two over a low heat until thickened. To serve, place the whole cooked chicken onto a large serving plate and remove the string tied around the legs. Arrange the pancetta and rosemary potatoes decoratively around the chicken. Pour the gravy into a fancy gravy boat and serve immediately whilst still hot.

 

Serves 4


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