This is a firm favourite for South African families for a Sunday lunch.
± 1.5 kg whole chicken, thawed
2.5 ml salt
5 ml paprika
1 large onion, quartered
± 100 ml water, milk or wine
2.5 ml stock powder (beef or chicken)
45 ml cake flour
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Remove the chicken from the fridge about 30 minutes before you plan to roast it. Set it aside. Please note: a whole chicken will take about 12 hours to defrost.
- Get out a roasting tin with a rack and set it aside.
- Combine the spices in a small mixing bowl and mix it well. Set it aside.
- Add 500 ml water to the roasting tin and set it aside. The water will keep the chicken moist during the cooking process.
- Check that there is nothing in the cavity of the chicken and place the chicken on the rack of the roasting tin.
- Rub the oil all over the chicken.
- Rub the spice mixture all over the chicken.
- Place the onion quarters in the cavity of the chicken. Leftover onion can be stored in a ziplock bag or an airtight container.
- Roast the chicken for 45 minutes. Set a timer so that you don’t forget about it!
- When the timer rings, remove the roasting tin from the oven with oven mittens and place it on a pot stand.
Turn the chicken over with the help of two forks.
- If the water has evaporated, add the same amount of water before returning the roasting tin to the oven.
- Roast the chicken for 45 minutes more. Set a timer so that you do not forget about it.
- When the timer rings, remove the roasting tin from the oven with oven mittens.
- To test if the chicken is cooked, prick the thickest part of the leg with a utility knife. The juices coming out of the chicken must be clear. The legs will seem loose if moved.
- Transfer the chicken to a serving dish and serve immediately or set the chicken aside to cool down before covering the dish with a lid or cling wrap and storing it in the fridge until it is time to reheat the chicken.
- Alternatively transfer the chicken to a chopping board and carve it into neat portions with a cook’s knife (see step-by-step instructions below).
- Place the chicken pieces in a serving dish and let it cool down before covering the dish with a lid or cling wrap and storing it in the fridge until it is time to reheat it.
- To make the gravy, pour the pan juices from the roasting tin into a measuring jug and fill it up to 500 ml with water, wine or milk.
- Add the stock powder, if used, and mix well with a fork.
- Transfer the cake flour to a medium saucepan.
- Add a little of the liquid from the measuring jug and make a paste using a spatula to prevent lumps. Add the rest of the liquid and mix well with a wooden spoon.
- Bring the mixture to the boil while stirring and cook until the sauce has thickened.
- Taste the gravy and adjust the seasoning if necessary, i.e. add a bit more salt.
- Transfer the gravy to a gravy boat (a measuring jug will also do the trick!) and set it aside to cool down.
- Cover the gravy boat with cling wrap and store it in the fridge until it is time to reheat it.
- Serve the chicken and gravy with couscous, roasted potatoes or rice and salad or vegetables.
4 to 6 servings.