Roast Chicken and Gravy

  • potatoes
  • 1 x 1,3kg chicken
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp dripping
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into 6 even wedges
  • squeeze of about _ a lemon and/or 100ml left-over dry white wine
  • generous sprig each of thyme, rosemary and marjoram (or any other herbs)
  • 4 tbsp Napolitana sauce
  • 2 tsp powdered chicken stock
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 250–300ml boiling water
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp cornflour or gravy powder, mixed with 3 tbsp water

Add the potatoes to a pot and cover with cold water and gently boil for about 35–40min or until just cooked. Meanwhile wash, season (inside as well) and truss the chicken. Peel the potatoes while still hot, holding them in one hand with a folded kitchen towel and peeling with the other, then cut to size. Drizzle the oil, dripping and butter into the roasting pan and heat up in the oven. When hot, add the chicken, onion and potatoes and bung it in the oven at 190°C for one hour, turning the spuds half way through. Remove and cover with foil while you make the gravy. Put the roasting pan (bits and all) on the fire and when it begins to fry, squeeze in the lemon juice and cook that dry. Add the herbs, tomato, and powdered chicken stock, and finely grate in the two cloves of garlic. Simmer for a minute or so, then add the boiling water and season to taste. Reduce the sauce until the right flavour develops, then whisk in the cornflour and re-check the seasoning. Pour off everything into a tall jug, then blitz with a hand-held stick blender, or just leave it as is (bits and all) or strain through a fine sieve and voila, you have a killer gravy (actually it has now evolved to “sauce” status if strained). Any leftovers freeze well.

Enjoy this recipe with one of South Africa’s best wines, go to

Photography by C&D Heierli • Recipe by Michael Broughton