Roast chicken with lemon, garlic and thyme

Roast chicken with lemon, garlic and thyme
  • Serves icon Serves 4
  • Time icon Hands-on time 45 min, oven time 1 hour 30 min, plus resting

Thomasina Miers‘ cooks up her favourite family recipe: a classic roast chicken flavoured with lemon, caramelised garlic and thyme. She serves hers with crispy roasted new potatoes and gravy, too, for good measure.

We’ve got plenty more roast chicken recipes where that came from, including this wonderful pesto chicken dish.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
664kcals
Fat
23.1g (4.6g saturated)
Protein
62.1g
Carbohydrates
42.6g (3.4g sugars)
Fibre
5.1g
Salt
1g
Calories
664kcals
Fat
23.1g (4.6g saturated)
Protein
62.1g
Carbohydrates
42.6g (3.4g sugars)
Fibre
5.1g
Salt
1g

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken, about 1.6kg
  • ½ lemon
  • 8 fresh thyme sprigs (or 2 fresh rosemary sprigs)
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 onions, peeled and halved
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

For the potatoes

  • 1kg baby new potatoes, scrubbed and halved
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • Handful fresh thyme sprigs (or oregano or rosemary), leaves picked
  • 4 tbsp olive oil

For the gravy

  • ½ chicken stock cube
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 150ml dry white wine

Method

  1. Heat the oven to its highest setting. Season the chicken inside and out then stuff it with the lemon, half the herbs and half an onion. Roughly slice the remaining onions, spread them over the base of a roasting tin, then scatter over the garlic and the remaining herbs. Rub the chicken with the oil and season generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Pull the legs slightly away from the body, then sit the chicken, breast-side down, on top of the onions and put the tin in the oven. Immediately turn down the heat to 190°C/170°C fan/gas 5 and cook for just over an hour (30 minutes per kg, plus 15 minutes for good measure). The chicken is cooked when the juices from the thickest part of the thigh run clear when pierced with a skewer (if in doubt, cut the thigh away from the body to see if it’s cooked in the crevice).
  3. While the chicken is roasting, put the potatoes on a large baking tray with the garlic and herbs, pour over the oil, season well and give everything a good toss. Roast in the oven with the chicken, stirring occasionally and adding a little oil if they look a bit dry. They will be crisp and golden in about an hour.
  4. For the most succulent meat, it’s essential to rest the bird in a warm place, covered in foil, for 15 minutes while you make the gravy. For the gravy, skim off most of the fat from the chicken tin and discard, leaving only a few tablespoons behind. Put the tin on the hob over a medium heat. Crumble in the stock cube, whisk in the flour and leave to bubble for a few minutes. Whisk
    in the wine a little at a time, letting it bubble for a minute between each addition, then boil for a few moments before adding enough boiling water to thin the gravy to your desired consistency (add 200ml-400ml water, depending on how thick you like your gravy). Simmer for 5-10 minutes, then taste and season; I like lots of salt and pepper in my gravy.
  5. Pick out and discard the herbs, but save the delicious onions and garlic to serve with the chicken. Pour the gravy through a sieve into a warm jug (though if it’s just family, I don’t bother). Put the chicken on a large platter or in a large dish, surrounded with the potatoes, onions and garlic. Take to the table, carve the bird and dish up.

delicious. tips

  1. Chablis has the right balance – fruity, slightly buttery, fresh and lemony.

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