Garlic roast chicken with rosemary and pancetta

  • Serves 4
  • Takes 20 min to make and 1½ hours to roast
  • Easy
The combined flavour of the garlic with the butter, rosemary and lemon infuse both the chicken and the potatoes cooking beneath in this roast dinner recipe.

Nutritional info per serving

  • Calories579kcals
  • Fat16.6g (5.9g saturated)
  • Protein66.4g
  • Carbohydrates44g (2.6g sugars)
  • Salt2.4g
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  • 1kg white potatoes, cut into 1cm slices
  • 1 garlic bulb, separated into cloves
  • 2 fresh rosemary sprigs, leaves picked
  • 1 lemon
  • ½ tsp coarse sea salt
  • Good knob of butter
  • 1.5kg whole free-range chicken
  • 150g pancetta, cubed
  • 300ml white wine


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. Put the potatoes into a large saucepan of cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for about 5 minutes, until just tender. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, place the peeled garlic cloves and rosemary leaves in a mini food processor. Pare the lemon zest into the processor and add the salt. Whizz until it forms a paste. Add the butter and a good grinding of black pepper and whizz again until well blended.
  3. Starting from the neck end of the chicken, loosen the skin with your fingers, then with your hands, being careful not to tear it. Spread the paste between the flesh and the skin, smoothing it down and around the bird as far as you can – make sure you get plenty on the breast, which is the driest part. Quarter the pared lemon and tuck it into the body cavity.
  4. Layer the potatoes and pancetta in a roasting tin, sit the chicken on top and pour over the wine. Season and roast for 1½ hours, until the chicken is golden and cooked through. Rest for 5 minutes, then carve and serve with the flavour-packed potatoes.
  • Red Bordeaux or Chianti Classico make a good match here.

From May 2008

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