Monday, 21 January 2008

Roasted Chicken

Serves 6

• 1.8kg/ 4lb chicken
• 1 large lemon
• 8 slices prosciutto or Parma ham, thinly sliced
• 1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
• 2 good handfuls of fresh thyme, leaves picked and finely chopped
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 115g/4oz or ½ pack of softened butter
• 1kg/2lb 3oz potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
• 1 large celeriac

Preheat the oven and an appropriately sized roasting tray to 220°C/425°F. Wash chicken inside and out and pat dry. Using your fingers, part the breast skin from the breast meat. It's important to try to push your hand gently down the breast, being careful not to rip the skin. With a peeler, remove and chop the fragrant yellow skin of the lemon, keeping the peeled lemon to one side. Then tear up your prosciutto and add to a bowl with the lemon skin, garlic and thyme. Season, and then scrunch it all into the butter. Push this into the space you have made between the meat and the skin - rub and massage any that's left over in and around the bird. Slash the thigh meat to allow the heat to penetrate a little more, which makes it taste better. Cut the peeled lemon in half and push it into the cavity. Then put your chicken in the hot roasting tray and roast in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, parboil the potatoes in salted water for 10 minutes and drain. Cut the celeriac into irregular chunks around the same size as the potatoes. Remove the chicken from the oven, by which time the tasty butter will have melted, flavoured and cooked out of the chicken into the bottom of the tray, awaiting your potatoes and celeriac. Normally I put a fork into the cavity of the chicken to lift it out of the tray for 20 seconds while I toss and coat the vegetables in the butter. Put the chicken back on top of the vegetables and cook for around 45 minutes. Leave to stand for 10 minutes. Once the meat and vegetables have been removed, a little light gravy can be made in the tray on the hob with a splash of wine and stock, a little simmering and scraping.

recipe from Best Blogger Tips

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