Truss chicken for roasting, season lightly and cover with bacon. Roast on a trivet in the roasting tin in a fairly hot oven (375°–400° F., Gas 5–6) until tender, 1–1½ hr. Baste frequently. The chicken may be roasted on the breast for a little while at the beginning, this will make the breast-meat more moist. (Prick the thigh to test for tenderness—if there is any trace of blood the chicken is not cooked.) The bacon may be removed 10–15 min. before serving, to allow the breast to brown. When the chicken is cooked, place on a hot meat-dish, remove trussing string, and keep hot. Make the gravy : pour excess fat from roasting tin but retain sediment; pour in stock, boil 2–3 min. Season to taste, strain into a hot sauce-boat.
Have ready the watercress, washed, drained and lightly seasoned, garnish the chicken; serve with the gravy and bread sauce. See also Accompaniments.