120ml(½ cup) hot chicken stockadd more if preferred
1tbspcornflour (cornstarch)diluted in 1 tbsp cold water
the juices from the slow cooker
Take the chicken out of the fridge 30 minutes before cooking – a cold chicken will take longer to cook and possibly cook unevenly.
Pat the chicken dry - do not rinse. Trim any large bits of fat and remove giblets, if any. Put the mustard powder, paprika, garlic powder and brown sugar (or sweetener) in a small bowl and mix together. Rub the chicken with the spices and season well with salt and pepper. Place half a lemon and the rosemary in the cavity.
Put the onions, celery, carrots potatoes, lemon and garlic in the slow cooker. The vegetables create a sort of trivet for the chicken. If you don’t want to cook vegetables in the crockpot then place the chicken on a silicone rack or scrunch some foil for a makeshift rack. This allows for any fat to drip away from the chicken.
Cover and cook on HIGH for 4-5 hours (check after 4). Use a digital thermometer to check the internal temperature at the thickest part is 75C/165F. You can also check by slicing into the thickest part of the meat and checking it is cooked through, or piercing the bird to see if the juices run clear. If the are still a bit pink you should continue cooking for a futrher 15-20 minutes before checking again.
Remove the chicken from the cooker, tipping it forward so any juices collected in the cavity drip out. Place on a roasting pan ( together with the potatoes, if you like), mist with cooking spray and blast under a hot grill (broiler) until the skin is lovely and crisp. Set the chicken aside for 20 minutes before carving.
Reserve the carrots and potatoes to serve with the roast. Keep warm (you can add back into the slow cooker).
Make the gravy
Strain the remaining juices into a gravy separator and discard the onions, celery etc. Discard most of the fat and transfer remaining juices into a saucepan.
Bring the juices to a simmer, topping up with the extra hot chicken stock (add up to 1 cup depending on how much juices have collected in cooker). Add the Worcestershire sauce and cornflour slurry. Simmer over low heat until the gravy thickens, stirring occasionally. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
Carve the chicken and serve with the carrots, potatoes and gravy on the side.
TOP TIP:Raw chicken should not be washed as it contains campylobacter bacteria which may spread when you are rinsing it. The bacteria is killed if the chicken is cooked properly – when it reaches internal temperature of 75C /165F.