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Spicy Roast Chicken and learning how to make good “Gravy.” ©

February 6, 2013







There is nothing like a good roast chicken! Quick and easy and always delicious!


The word gravy conjures up in my generation’s mind two things, either totally delicious or terrible! It instantly reminds me of boarding school, the brown tasteless warm liquid that was slopped on ones food, which if you had any sense, you pulled your plate smartly away, just in time and politely smiled and opted for the HP sauce or ketchup! (HP sauce, for those of you who do not know, is a traditional English bottled sauce and is what I put on everything as a child, always  requesting friends coming out to Greece to bring some!)


This recipe is an alternative to the usual roast chicken and explains how “gravy,” can be the most delicious thing, as long as you know how to make it!

The base of  gravy is made from the left over juices in the roasting tin. Whenever you are roasting  chicken, Lamb, Beef, Pork or other, once the cooking time is up, you place your roast on a warmed serving dish together with the potatoes and keep it warm in the oven.

Drain off as much of the fat as possible from the roasting tin into a bowl and keep it for future cooking. Place the roasting tin on the burner and sprinkle over a table spoon of flour using a sieve or dredger.This absorbs any remaining fat in the roasting tin. You cook the flour stirring with a whisk continuously for two minutes. You then add stock and stir until it becomes thick.

I then add a mixture of brandy, Dijon mustard and Worcestershire Sauce and a teaspoon of Bovril. This goes very well with Lamb and Beef and Chicken and makes an excellent gravy.



Roast Spicy Chicken

Easy. The first time you make this, it may seem complicated, but once you have done it once, it’s easy! If you don’t have time to make the gravy, just serve it along with the juices.



6 Persons



Oven Temperature :  250. C. Leave for half an hour then turn down to 200.C

Cooking Time: 1.30 to 2 hrs, depending on size of Chicken




1 Roasting Chicken

3 medium onions. 1 for inside the cavity, the other two, cut into chunks and placed around the chicken

2-4 cloves of garlic

Generous sprinkling of powdered Coriander, Cumin and Sweet Paprika

1-2 tbs Harissa paste

1 tbs Dijon mustard

A few drops of “Flavoured Vinegar,”  Raspberry, or Mango or Passion Fruit (Optional)

2-3 tsp salt and freshly ground black pepper

Juice 2 lemons

Sprigs of fresh rosemary and thyme

4 tbs olive oil or more

1/2- 1 Cup of water to be added during cooking!

2 medium sized potatoes per person, cut into four

Extra salt and pepper for sprinkling over potatoes and onions



1 carton of Greek thick ‘Fage Total’ Yogurt and two tsp Harissa mixed together


Ingredients for Gravy

1 tbs flour

1 tbs brandy

1-2 tsp Bovril, alternatively 1/2 Beef stock cube. Bovril though is best!

1-2 tsp Dijon mustard. Dijon ONLY!

A good dash of Worcestershire Sauce

200 ml stock

*When roasting pork add 1 cooking apple cooked in butter and a little water until soft. Pass through sieve and add to finished gravy.

  • Harissa Paste is a spicy arabic paste.
  • Bovril is beef extract.



Pre-heat oven to 250.C

1. Take chicken out of fridge and allow to come to room temperature. This takes about half an hour. Remove any giblets from chicken cavity, wash chicken inside and out, under running tap.

2. Place in roasting tin, pat dry with kitchen paper and place inside cavity 1 whole onion and half your lemon peel, once you have squeezed out the juice. Season well inside.

3. Truss or tie chicken up, so as to keep more moist and be more presentable for serving.

4. Pour your lemon juice over the chicken, inside and out. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper, (2 tsp of salt is not too much) and sprinkle over your spices. Using a knife, spread over chicken the Dijon mustard, followed by the Harissa paste.

5. Drizzle chicken with a few drops of flavoured vinegar ( optional.)

6. Finally cover chicken generously with olive oil, so that there is plenty of oil in the roasting tin for the potatoes. Peel and cut potatoes into four and place around chicken, along with quartered onions and garlic. Sprinkle potatoes with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.

7. Place in pre-heated oven, turn down to 200. C, approximately after half an hour. (The oil  should always be bubbling, so it depends on your oven.)  I usually keep it at 250.C. and add water once the roasting tray is low on liquid and I turn my chicken during roasting to nicely brown on all sides. Turn potatoes also to brown evenly. If Chicken is getting too brown cover top with a little tin foil.  These potatoes will be soft, not the crispy English kind……

8. By adding the water, you have plenty of nice juices for your gravy. You don’t want to be left with just the oil.

9. Once the cooking time is up, test by sticking a sharp knife into the thickest part of the chicken, the thigh and the juices should run clean. If they are at all pink leave chicken to cook for another 10 minutes.

10. Remove chicken from oven, place on warm serving dish, together with potatoes. These potatoes are the soft kind, well coloured and almost caramelised and I find the best result is by keeping your oven on the high side.


Making the Gravy

1. Pour off as much fat as possible, without pouring away the juices.  If you haven’t added water during cooking, you won’t have many juices, that is why it is good to add water.

2. In a bowl mix together a tsp of Dijon, a table spoon of brandy and a tsp of Bovril. If you can’t find Bovril, try half a beef cube but Bovril is best, the flavor is genuine and it gives color.

3. Place the roasting tin over a moderate heat on the top of your stove and sprinkle with flour using a sieve or dredger.

4. Stir continuously  with a whisk, (better than a wooden spoon, as you are less likely to get lumps) and cook the flour for two minutes. If you don’t do this, as when making a white sauce, the sauce will taste floury.

5. Add 1 cup of stock or water, whisk continuously until thickened, scraping in all the corners of your roasting tin.

6. Add your mixture of brandy, bovril, Dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce and bring to the boil. Boil rapidly for two minutes, so that the alcohol evaporates and taste for seasoning.

7. Pour through a sieve into gravy boat and serve  with your roast chicken and potatoes.



Fruit Vinegars

These are some super flavored vinegars, which you can drizzle over your Spicy chicken. (Optional)

Spicy Chicken

Wash your chicken, place onion and lemon half, rosemary and thyme in cavity and tie your chicken.

Season with plenty of salt and freshly ground pepper and spices. Surround with chopped onions and garlic.

Spicy Chicken

Drizzle with raspberry vinegar, if available, or Harissa paste.


Spicy Chicken

Surround with potatoes cut into four, season and drizzle with olive oil.

Spicy Chicken

During cooking baste every half an hour and add water half way through cooking time.


Spicy Chicken

Chicken nearly done, nicely browned, potatoes need a little more color. Add half a cup of water and return to the oven for another ten minutes.

Spicy Chicken

Looking ready!


Place chicken and potatoes on warm serving dish. Pour off oil into heat-proof bowl, to be used in later cooking, being careful to retain the juices. A little oil will remain.


Place on stove, over a medium heat and sprinkle over flour.



Whisk, bringing in all the corners of the roasting tin, which are full of lovely flavors.



Cook the flour thoroughly, so as not to have a floury taste. This is important and needs about two minutes.


Add water, or better still stock. At Christmas time it can be from the boiled neck of the turkey, together with onion, carrot and celery. Or you could do the same with the chicken, if the neck is included.


Stock made from Turkey or Chicken neck, celery, onion and carrot. Simmer for 3/4 hour and use to make your gravy.


Having added water or better still stock, boil until thickened.


Make up your mixture of Dijon mustard, Worcestershire Sauce, Bovril and Brandy.


Add to roasting tin and mix thoroughly, boiling for two minutes for alcohol to evaporate.


This all makes a delicious combination of flavors! Once ready, pass through sieve, into gravy boat.


Final result. Rich in flavor and color and adds wonderful flavor to everything you add it to.







4 Comments leave one →
  1. a.morad permalink
    February 8, 2013 12:13 pm

    Hi Jane,

    Many thanks for below – I cook chicken regularly. Lovely recipe!




  2. October 2, 2015 8:53 am

    Reblogged this on What's Cooking In Jane's Kitchen and commented:

    An “Oldie” but a favourite! Don’t be put off by the length of the recipe, it’s “Easy!”


  3. Stephen Vicat permalink
    October 2, 2015 4:38 pm

    Gorgeous looking …..and sure to be tantalizingly tasty ! Making the gravy reminds me of when I make your roast lamb recipe ( got it to fine art now ! )


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