There was a time in Spain when chickens, turkeys and other poultry were only served at Christmas and on certain “fiesta” days. In the rural villages, every household would keep 2 or 3 chickens or ducks for their eggs and they would only be sacrificed when they failed to produce any. These days, after fish, “pollo” (chicken) must be the favourite food in Spain and it finds its way into some of Spanish cookery's most celebrated dishes such as “paella”, “cocido madrilno” and “pollo al ajillo”. Spanish chickens still seem to taste better than the anaemic–looking specimens found in Britain and the rest of Europe. The best are free range, corn-fed chickens. This imparts a good flavour and gives them a more appetizing orangey-yellow colour. A simple roast chicken is just about my favourite dish and with a little care and effort it can be a revelation. If you fill the cavity with lemon wedges, crushed garlic cloves, fresh thyme and lots of seasoning you will add a wonderful flavour and aroma to the finished dish. Start by roasting the chicken in a hot oven (230 c/gas mark 8) for 10-15 minutes then lower the temperature to around 190c/gas 5 and cook for 30–40 minutes, with the occasional basting. Pierce the thighs with a trussing needle or fork to test if the chicken is done by watching to see if the liquid that escapes is clear, and then let it rest for 8-10 minutes before carving. Next week at the hotel, I will be launching a new, light Mediterranean-style menu called “Simply Fosh” that we will be serving in the olive press room as an alternative to our A la carte menu in the formal dinning room. The menu will be based around regional specialities from all over the Mediterranean and in the coming weeks I will be featuring some recipes that will be appearing on my new light menu, I'm also changing the A la carte so I'll be a busy boy for the next few days. Here are three Spanish regional favourites to whet you appetites.