There is something so satisfying about a roast chicken, it is a great example of simple yet sophisticated cooking, it can feel old-fashioned (the process of preparing, carving and gobbling) there is something medieval, almost gluttonous about it.
Sometimes I like to make a herb or tomato butter and carefully stuff this under the chickens skin but other times you literally want to dress it quickly as if was a fidgety child late for school, with care but also with haste.
This is one of those recipes I go back to again and again. I served this with macaroni that I drizzled with a garlic oil I made from roasting elephant garlic and a red onion salad but I also love serving roast chicken with ratatouille and potatoes roasted in goose fat and polenta for an excellent crunch.
This recipe (or more of a combination of flavours) reaps generous flavour benefits – considering the little effort that goes into preparing it.
Ingredients Serves 2-3, use 2 chickens to serve 4-6
- 1 whole free-range chicken (about 1.2 kg)
- 40g salted butter, at room temp
- 1 bunch of fresh thyme
- 10 garlic cloves
- 1 unwaxed lemon, sliced with skin on
- olive oil
- 1-2 tbsp runny honey
- 150ml vegetable stock
Preheat oven to 210C
Place your chicken in a roasting tin and rub generously all over with the softened butter.
Place half your thyme inside the chickens cavity with the garlic cloves and lemon slices.
Scatter the rest of the thyme over your chicken, drizzle with olive oil, honey and season well. Pour the stock into the roasting dish around the chicken, cover well with tinfoil and roast for a good hour.
Remove the foil and continue to roast for a further 15 minutes to allow the chicken to brown nice and golden. To ensure the chicken is cooked through, insert a knife into the thickest part – if the juices run clear it is cooked – if still bloody cook for further 15 minutes.
Carve and serve with either garlic macaroni, potatoes or whatever you fancy. Haloumi is also great fried with a little honey and thyme and works as a great accompaniment with this chicken.