- Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 orange or 2 clementines cut in quarters – optional
- 2 fresh bay leaves (Laurus nobilis) or imported dried bay leaves
- 1 3-1/2 to 4 pounds; 1-3/4-2kg chicken
- 3 cups;750ml water
- 6 ounces;180g shallots peeled, kept whole
- ¼ cup;60ml best quality red wine vinegar
- 4 medium tart apples peeled, cored, and cut into eighths
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup;10g flat-leaf parsley leaves gently packed,
Preheat the oven to 425F (220C).
Salt and pepper the cavity of the chicken. Stuff the citrus fruit, if using, into the chicken along with the bay leaves. Truss the chicken so it cooks evenly, then place it in a roasting pan. Pour 1 cup (250ml) water around the chicken and place the chicken in the center of the oven to roast for 30 minutes, checking after about 15 minutes to be sure there is water in the pan. Add additional water if necessary.
Add the shallots to the pan, shaking the pan to roll them in the liquid in the pan, and return to the oven to continue roasting the chicken until juices run from the thigh joint when it’s pierced with a sharp knife, an additional 25 to 30 minutes. Check on the chicken occasionally to be sure that there is plenty of water in the bottom of the pan and add additional if necessary.
About 10 minutes before the chicken is roasted, pour the vinegar over the chicken. When the chicken is roasted, transfer it to a cutting board that collects juices, setting it its breast so the juices run into the breast meat. After 10 minutes, right the chicken onto the back.
Add the apples to the pan with the shallots, shake the pan so the apples are covered with liquid, and drizzle the olive oil over the shallots and the apples. Season lightly with salt and pepper and put in the oven to roast until the shallots are caramelized and the apples are tender, about 20 minutes, stirring once or twice and making sure there is enough liquid in the pan, so the juices don’t burn.
Cut the chicken into serving pieces. If you’ve used citrus, squeeze it (using tongs – it will be hot) over the chicken.
Remove the shallots and apples from the oven.
Mince the parsley and add it to the apples and the shallots, stirring and shaking the pan so that everything is combined. Spoon the apples and the shallots over the chicken, drizzle the juices overall and serve, with plenty of bread alongside for sopping up the juices!