1 whole chicken, preferably organic and free range.
1 onion, thinly sliced (keeping the end cuts).
whole head garlic, chopped in quarters.
1 tablespoon butter.
sprigs of fresh (or dried) thyme or oregano.
sea salt and pepper.
2 lemons, halved.
a big splash of apple cider vinegar.
2 cups green vegetables (broccoli, brussel sprouts or beans work well).
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas Mark 6.
2. Pat down the chicken, inside and out, with paper towelling to ensure it’s dry. Using your fingers and working from the chicken’s "bottom" end, pull the skin from the breast and slide your fingers all the way up. Poke half the butter and some of the herbs up under the skin. Rub the chicken on both sides with lemon juice, and rub down with salt, pepper and remaining herbs. Stuff squeezed lemon halves in chicken cavity.
3. Place onion and garlic in roasting pan and place chook on top. Sprinkle with remaining butter.
4. Cook in preheated oven for 1 hour, basting every 20 minutes with the juices from the pan. The chicken is ready when you poke a drumstick with a skewer and the juices run clear, not pink'
5. Meanwhile prepare the Sweet Potato Casserole (link below) and add to the oven when the chicken has approximately 25 minutes to go.
7. At around the 50 minute mark, steam the green vegetables.
8. Remove the chicken to a serving dish, along with the garlic and lemon, cover and leave in the still-warm oven (you can turn off the oven).
9. Place the pan with all the juices over heat. Scrape the bottom of the pan, add vinegar and bring to a boil, scraping the onions and fatty bits. Add a little more liquid if you like and reduce. Strain the sauce into a gravy boat or small jug.
10. Pull chicken meat off the bones and divide into six portions. Freeze four portions.
11. Divide Sweet Potato Casserole in to six portions. Freeze four portions.
12. To serve, divide remaining Sweet Potato Casserole and chicken between two plates, or a plate and a lunch box. Divide green vegetables between the two serves and serve with the sauce.