When you are hungry, a tasty roast chicken with a butter, honey, salt and cracked peppercorn crust is hard to beat for satisfying the pangs. A good quality chicken is essential for a juicy and flavoursome result. A plump, free range, corn fed chicken is recommended. The result will be meltingly tender.
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
small bunch tarragon or thyme
1.2 kg (2¾ lb) chicken (not larger, or it will not cook in time)
30ml (2 tbsp) runny honey
25gm (1oz) unsalted butter, softened to a dropping consistency
1 tbsp sea salt crystals
1 tbsp coarsely crushed black peppercorns
Preheat oven to 230ºC, set to Bake, rack position D.
Place the garlic and herbs in the chicken's cavity. Warm the honey and butter and, using your hands, smear it over the bird thoroughly. With fingers still sticky, rub in the salt and pepper.
Line the oven tray with a silicone mat to prevent any honey drips burning onto the bottom. Put the grill tray in the oven tray and place the chicken on the top, breasts towards the door.
Roast for 5 minutes, reset the temperature at 180ºC and roast for a further 40 minutes. Turn off and leave the chicken inside the oven for 45 minutes. It will continue to cook gently in the residual heat.