Lemon thyme roast chicken and bread sauce stuffed onions
- April 2021
- Serves 4-6
- Hands-on time 30 min, plus infusing; oven time 1 hr 15 min
This lemon thyme roast chicken with stuffed onions is a beautiful way to present the best bits of a Sunday roast. Just add potatoes, greens and Yorkies.
Or, go traditional and use your bread in this roast chicken with bread stuffing recipe.
- 22.2g (10.4g saturated)
- 29.1g (11.6g sugars)
- 60g unsalted butter, softened
- Bunch fresh lemon thyme leaves (see Know-how), finely chopped
- 2kg free-range chicken, at room temperature
- 1 lemon, halved
- Olive oil for rubbing/brushing
- 4 unpeeled garlic cloves, bashed
- 200ml white wine
For the stuffed onions
- 6 medium onions, unpeeled
- 200ml whole milk
- 15g butter
- 6 cloves
- 6 black peppercorns
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 2 garlic cloves, bashed
- 100g fresh breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp single cream
- Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- 30g panko breadcrumbs
You’ll also need
- Kitchen string
- 6-hole muffin tray or roasting tin just large enough to fit the onions
Useful to have
- Probe thermometer
- Heat the oven to 160°C fan/gas 4. Mix the butter with the thyme and season. At the neck end of the chicken, loosen the skin over the breast, then spread the breast under the skin with the butter mixture. Put a lemon half inside the cavity and tie the legs with string. Rub oil over the skin and add more seasoning. Put the chicken in a roasting tin with the garlic, wine and the other lemon half. Roast, basting every 15 minutes, for 1¼ hours or until the juices run clear when a skewer is pushed into the thickest part of the thigh or a thermometer reads 70-72°C.
- Rest the chicken on a board for 10 minutes (the temperature will rise a little as it rests). Strain the cooking juices into a small pan and simmer briefly over a medium heat to make a gravy. Season well to taste.
- Meanwhile bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and add the onions (see Know-how). Return to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes until tender. Drain and, when cool enough to handle, slice 2cm off the tops and trim the bases flat. Scoop out the core of each onion, leaving 2-3 layers intact. Finely chop half the scooped-out onion and set aside (see Don’t Waste It).
- Put the milk, butter, cloves, peppercorns, bay leaves and garlic in a pan over a medium heat until steaming, then set aside for 20 minutes to infuse.
- Strain the infused milk into a small pan (discard the solids). Add the fresh breadcrumbs and chopped onion and cook over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring regularly. Stir in the cream, nutmeg and seasoning.
- Divide the bread sauce among the onion shells. Brush the skin of each onion with olive oil, then put in the muffin tray/roasting tin. Sprinkle with the panko breadcrumbs, drizzle with a little oil, then roast in the tray/tin alongside the chicken for the final 30 minutes of the cooking time.
- Carve the chicken and serve the stuffed onions and gravy alongside with your favourite veg.
Don’t waste it: You’ll need only half the scooped-out onion – freeze the rest and use as a base for soups or stews.
Prep the bread sauce/onions a day ahead (steps 3-5). Cover and chill separately, then continue with steps 1-2 and 6-7.
Can’t find lemon thyme? Use regular thyme and 1 tsp lemon zest.
A small pan lid (or heatproof saucer) will keep the onions submerged.
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