Mum’s roast chicken with lemon and garlic

Mum’s roast chicken with lemon and garlic
  • Serves icon Serves 4-6
  • Time icon Hands-on time 45 min, oven time 1½ hours

Chef and author Sophie Michell shares her mother’s comforting lemon and garlic roast chicken recipe that takes her back to her childhood.

In need of something speedier? Try this lemon and garlic chicken thigh recipe served with couscous and fresh herbs.

Nutrition: For 6 servings

Calories
482kcals
Fat
27.4g (12.4g saturated)
Protein
43.6g
Carbohydrates
13.9g (3.9g sugars)
Fibre
3g
Salt
1.4g
Calories
482kcals
Fat
27.4g (12.4g saturated)
Protein
43.6g
Carbohydrates
13.9g (3.9g sugars)
Fibre
3g
Salt
1.4g

Ingredients

  • 1.5kg whole organic chicken
  • Olive oil for drizzling
  • 2 garlic bulbs
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 small bunch fresh rosemary, plus extra sprigs to garnish
  • 20g butter, softened

For the stuffing

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 50g butter
  • 100g cooked chestnuts, chopped
  • 200g British free-range sausagemeat
  • 1 small bunch fresh sage, finely chopped
  • 1 large free-range egg, beaten
  • 3 gratings fresh nutmeg

For the gravy

  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 80ml white/red wine or sherry
  • 1 tsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 200ml fresh chicken stock

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/ gas 7. Rub the chicken with salt and pepper, then drizzle with oil and put in a roasting tin. Peel the garlic. Cut three quarters of the cloves into slivers. Make small cuts in the bird’s breast and thighs, then push in the slivers. Put the remaining cloves in the cavity and around the chicken.
  2. Squeeze the lemon halves over the chicken, then put them inside the cavity with the rosemary. Spread the softened butter over the chicken breast, then season. Roast for 30 minutes or until the skin is golden. Turn over the chicken and reduce the heat to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Cook for another 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, make the stuffing. Gently fry the onion in the butter for 5 minutes or until translucent. Add the chestnuts and cook for a few minutes more. Leave to cool slightly. Put in a bowl, then mix in the sausagemeat, sage, egg and nutmeg. Season, then roll into balls.
  4. Turn the chicken breast-side up, add the stuffing around it, then roast for a final 30 minutes or until the chicken juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a skewer. Transfer to a board, draining any juices from the cavity into the baking tray, and rest. Squeeze the garlic cloves in the tray into the juices, then discard the skins. Set the stuffing aside and keep warm.
  5. To make the gravy, let the fat and sediment from the chicken settle lightly in the tray, then carefully skim off and discard all but 1 tbsp fat. Put the tray on the hob over a medium heat. Whisk in the flour with a balloon whisk and cook for 1 minute. Add the wine/sherry, soy/tamari, stock and a pinch of sugar. Season. Whisk until lump-free and hot, then pass through a sieve. Garnish with rosemary and serve with the chicken and stuffing.

delicious. tips

  1. South African chenin blanc fits the bill.

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