1. Pat the chicken down with paper towels to dry out the skin and cavity and place on a tray lined with a wire rack on the bottom section of your fridge. Allow to chill overnight.
2. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 220C and bring your chicken out of the fridge to temper. I like to bend the wing tips underneath the carcass so that they don’t burn.
3. When the oven is hot enough, season the chicken liberally. Cut an onion into quarters through the core and place a bundle of thyme in the cross section for the onion. Plug the butthole with half a lemon. Rub your hands with chicken fat, butter or olive oil and give the skin a light coating.
4. Place the chicken onto an oven safe pan or dish and place into the centre of the oven.
5. Roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the thickest part of the legs registers at 70C with a thermometer. Alternatively if you don’t have an instant read thermometer, slice into the leg and if the juices run clear, you’re good to go.
6. Allow to rest for 20 minutes while getting the rest of your meal together. Don’t worry about the chicken cooling down, it will actually continue cooking gently whilst retaining a hot interior for quite some time.
7. Remove the onion, thyme and lemon from the inside of the cavity. Set them aside. Carefully lift the chicken using a pair of tongs and allow the juices inside the cavity to pour into the roasting dish or pan.
8. Remove most of the fat from the top of the roasting juices by either pouring into a measuring cylinder and pouring off the excess or using a gravy separator.
9. Add 200ml of chicken stock to the roasting dish or pan and scrape off any bits from the bottom.
10. n a separate pot, add 2 tablespoons of chicken fat and 2 tablespoons of flour and cook over medium heat while stirring for 2-3 minutes to create a roux. This will thicken our gravy.
11. Add the chicken stock and deglaze fond from the roasting dish and pour it into the pot.
12. Add the lemon, onion and thyme along with 2 tablespoons roasted garlic (or 1 head’s worth). Continue to add chicken stock until you reach a nice consistency.
13. Cook for 10 minutes over medium low heat and pass through a strainer to remove any solids. Pulse with an immersion blender for a smoother consistency.