It's probably one of the best known truths that a roast chicken is comfort, so it really needs little introduction. Everyone loves it and it cures lots of ailments and elevates spirits - it's synonymous with lazy Sundays and feeding someone a roast chicken is one of the greatest acts of affection around.
Of course it's lovely with all the trimmings, but it can be even better when eaten with plainer accompaniments. Roast chicken with mashed potato and gravy is an excellent cure for hangovers, broken hearts and general low spirits. And, roast chicken served with salad and a good loaf of bread to mop up the gravy is an equally as good provider of sustenance for those hungover or melancholy souls.
Pre-heat the oven to 220 degrees.
Rub butter, a small bunch of chopped herbs (parsley and marjoram or thyme, etc) salt and pepper all over the chicken (This will give a golden colour and produce really tasty skin.) At this stage you could also stuff half an onion or lemon into the cavity.
Put the bird in a roasting tin and add a glass of water and a glass of wine (this will later become gravy.) Roast for 15 minutes. Baste the bird then turn down the oven to 190 degrees and return the bird to the oven to cook for 45 minutes.
Check it's cooked by piercing a meaty part of the bird with a knife, if the juices run clear then it's done, if not, return to the oven for longer and check at 5 minute intervals (a larger bird will take longer.)
Let it rest for 10 - 15 minutes and carve however you like - even a slap dash manner will be fine for this.