A great Sunday dinner. All this autumnal classic needs is crusty bread and a shared table to be perfect.
Preheat oven to 200°C.
Place the chicken in a large deep roasting tray or casserole dish with a heavy base.
Arrange the onions, potatoes, apples, garlic, herbs and lemon around the chicken
and pour over the cider. Place in the preheated oven to cook for 35 mins covered.
Remove and baste well before returning to the oven for a further 25-30 mins
uncovered to allow the chicken to brown and the liquids to reduce.
Remove the tray from the oven and take the chicken out to rest.Place the vegetables and apples back in the oven uncovered for a further 10-15 mins while the chicken rests.
To serve, cut chicken into serving pieces and place on a large serving platter surrounded by vegetables and apples, with remaining thyme sprinkled over
1.3-1.4-kilogram whole free-range chicken
2 white onions, peeled and quartered
4-5 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and halved
2 Granny Smith apples, quartered and cored
4-6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 fresh bay leaves
Small bunch fresh thyme, roughly chopped (reserve half for serving)
1 lemon, quartered
750ml bottle Val de Ranch French cider