A tasty and emollient mix of softened butter, green peppercorns, garlic and orange zest are tucked between the skin and breast of the bird before roasting. Result: irresistibly golden crisp skin and moist fragrant flesh.
Mash together the butter, green peppercorns, orange zest, garlic and sea salt flakes. Insert some of the flavoured butter under the loosened skin, pushing it in as far as possible and smoothing it to the shape of the bird. Smear the rest of the butter over the skin.
Place on a rack in a roasting tin and roast for 40 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 170°C/325°F/Gas 3 and roast for another 40 minutes or until the juices run clear when you pierce the thickest part of the thigh.
Leave to rest for 10 minutes, then tip the juices from the cavity into the tin. Move the bird to a warm serving dish and keep hot while you make the gravy.
Pour off most of the fat from the tin and sprinkle the juices with flour. Stir over medium heat using a wooden spoon to scrape up the sticky residue from the bottom of the tin. Stir in the orange juice, then gradually add the stock, stirring constantly. Check the seasoning and add more salt, pepper or orange juice if necessary. Strain into a jug before serving.
© 2008 Christine McFadden. All rights reserved.