My winter cooking is often influenced by what I have cooked and eaten in Andalusia, and this next recipe is no exception; it makes a marvellous Sunday lunch. Fino or other good dry white wine can replace Manzanilla if you prefer.
Rinse and wipe the chicken all over. Remove the wing pinions and any excess fat from the cavity. Prick the lemon all over with a skewer and put it inside the chicken. Peel and slice the onion; peel the garlic, and put both in the bottom of a roasting pan, or the bottom half of a soaked clay chicken brick.
Lightly season the chicken, set it on top of the onions and the garlic, pour the Manzanilla over it, and place in the centre of the oven, preheated to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Roast for 1¼ to 1½ hours, or until the juices run clear when a skewer is inserted into the thigh meat.
Remove the chicken, and put it in a warm place while you make the sauce. The juices from the pan can simply be boiled down slightly to reduce them, with the onion and garlic kept in, although they will have practically disintegrated. Or the sauce can be reduced and sieved, and even finished off with cream or butter, although I think this spoils the clean flavour of the lemon, which will have permeated the whole bird.
Carve, or joint the chicken, and serve the sauce separately.
© 2000 Frances Bissell. All rights reserved.