Makes: 12 portions. Cooking time: 1 hour. Oven temperature: 200°C. Temperature at center of legs: 80°C.
— 3 x 1½ kg chicken, trussed for roasting
— 2 dl melted dripping or oil
— ½ liter brown stock
— 3 bunches of picked watercress
— 150 grams game chips
— 2 dl bread sauce
(1) Season the chicken inside and outside with salt.
(2) Select a roasting tray large enough to enable the birds to be moved during cooking. Lay in the chickens on their sides on one leg, cover with the melted dripping and place in the oven to roast.
(3) After approximately 20 minutes turn the birds over onto the other leg for a similar period, basting from time to time.
(4) Lay the birds on their backs with the breasts uppermost. Continue to roast for a further 20 minutes.
(5) During the last 10 minutes of roasting, stack the birds on their ends with the neck ends against the bottom of the roasting tray and the breasts downwards to allow the juices to lubricate the flesh.
(6) When cooked, remove the chickens from the roasting tray and retain in a tray stacked as given in (5). Any juices collected may be used in making the gravy.
(7) Drain off all the surplus fat allowing any sediment to remain in the tray.
(8) Add the brown stock and allow to simmer gently for a few minutes.
(9) Strain through a fine conical strainer into a deep sided saucepan. Reboil, skim off all traces of fat and other impurities that may come to the surface and season to taste. If necessary retain in a bain-marie for use as required.
(10) Remove the string from the chickens and serve on an oval flat dish with a little of the roast gravy. Garnish with picked watercress and game chips accompanied by sauceboats of roast gravy and bread sauce.
(1) To test if cooked, pierce the center of the legs with a fork, hold the chicken over a dish and allow the juices to escape onto the dish. The clarity of these juices gives an indication of how well the bird is cooked; when the juices are quite clear with no traces of blood the bird is cooked.
(2) Chicken may also be carved into portions when served.
(3) Chicken may be roasted with their legs and under-side of the carcass removed. In such cases they are roasted with the breasts uppermost during cooking, allowing ¾ hour roasting time.