Cajun roast chicken, veg & spicy gravy



  • 1 x 1.6 kg whole free-range chicken
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 tesapoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon allspice berries
  • 1 orange
  • 1 bunch of fresh thyme
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 750 g carrots
  • 1.25 kg potatoes
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoon runny honey
  • 1 organic stock cube
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour


Preheat the oven to 200ºC/gas 6. Place the chicken on a clean board.

Bash the dried herbs and spices with a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper in a pestle and mortar.

Grate in the orange zest, pick in half the thyme leaves, and bash again. Mix in 1 tablespoon of oil, then rub the spice mix all over the chicken.

Peel and roughly chop the onion, roughly chop 1 carrot, then place in a roasting tin.

Sit the chicken on top, and rub a good drizzle of oil into the skin. Halve the zested orange; pop 1 half in the chicken, reserve the other.

Reduce the oven to 180ºC/gas 4 and roast for around 1 hour 15 minutes, or till the chicken is golden and when pierced in the thickest part, the juices run clear.

Meanwhile, halve and parboil the potatoes for 5 to 6 minutes; drain and let sit to steam dry for a few minutes.

Shake to scuff the edges, then tip into a roasting tin and season with salt. Mix in the unpeeled garlic and a lug of oil. Roast with the chicken for 50 minutes.

Halve the remaining carrots lengthways, then parboil for 4 minutes; drain and steam dry.

Tip into a roasting tin, season, and mix with the honey, remaining thyme leaves and orange juice, and a drizzle of oil. Set aside.

When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the oven. Pop the carrots in the oven and check the potatoes, shaking the tray to turn them, and turn the oven up to 200ºC/gas 6. Keep an eye on the veg, so they don’t burn, while you make the gravy.

Transfer the chicken to a board to rest and loosely cover in foil.

Dissolve the stock cube in 750ml of just-boiled water. Place the roasting tin over a medium heat. Sprinkle in the flour and scrape the sticky bits off the bottom. Get the flour nice and dark (not burnt), then add the stock.

Bring to the boil, then simmer rapidly for 5 minutes, stirring. When the gravy reaches the consistency you like, strain it through a sieve.

By now the roast veg should be ready to serve with the cajun roast chicken and spicy gravy.


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