When you move house, everything is unsettled. You canâ€™t find the scissors. You trip on the edge of the bed. You hear every creak in the floor, every tick of the pipes. Your stuff is in, but itâ€™s nowhere near home.
There was a belief when I was a kid â€“ I suspect perpetuated by the literary classic Topsy and Tim Move House â€“ that if you moved house, you should smother the catâ€™s paws in butter, and by the time it has licked it all off, it will be settled in the new home.
â€œI donâ€™t think so,â€ said Jon, who, unlike me, actually grew up with cats. â€œAll that would happen, is that the cat would tear around the house, getting butter on everything. I donâ€™t think it would help.”
Nevertheless, it’s a comforting thought.
Roasting a chicken is the human equivalent of that.
Ingredients1 chicken (buy it ready to roast, lifeâ€™s too short to de-giblet a chicken)
1 large yellow onion
Â½ cup dry white wine
2 tbsp soft butter 4 cloves of garlic
Salt and pepper Â
- Pre heat the oven to 400
- Peel and quarter the onion, then cut the quarters in half again and lay the pieces in the middle of a roasting tin. Drop in the garlic (no need to peel).
- Rinse the chicken (inside the cavity too) then pat the skin dry with a paper towel
- Cut one lemon in half. Squeeze one of the halves and mix the juice with the soft butter. Season with salt and pepper.
- Lift up the skin of the chicken being careful not to tear it, then slide about half of the butter under the skin. Smear the rest all over the chicken.
- Season the cavity with salt and pepper.
- Chop the rest of the lemons into quarters and stuff inside the chicken. Don’t pack them in. Any that don’t fit, leave in the bottom of the roasting tray.
- Pour the wine into the tray
- Put the chicken on top of the onions â€“ this acts as a sort of natural trivet keeping it out of the liquid â€“ and roast for an hour or so, depending on the size of the chicken. Start checking the temp after Â¾ of an hour. It must be 180 in the thigh.
- Let the chicken rest for 15 minutes then serve with the gravy thatâ€™s in the tin (smush in the garlic).