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Roast Chicken with Lemon and Thyme

What I love about this recipe is the fast cooking, which turns the chicken crisp and golden on the outside and juicy and succulent within. The added bonus is roasting the potatoes and onions in precisely the same time and in the same roasting tin.



Begin by removing the chicken from the fridge about an hour before you intend to cook it (or on a hot day, about 30 minutes), then remove the string and open out the joints.

When you’re ready to cook, place the onions, potatoes, garlic and half the chopped thyme and the sprigs in a bowl, and toss them in the oil.

Next mix the sliced lemon with the remaining thyme and place it inside the cavity of the chicken and position it in the centre of the tin. Add some seasoning then arrange the vegetables all around.

Add more seasoning, then place the roasting tin on the centre shelf of the oven and time it for 65 minutes without opening the door. (Because ovens vary, test the thickest part of the chicken with a skewer – if the juices run clear it is cooked. If not give it another 5–10 minutes).

For a smaller 1.4kg chicken to serve 3–4, reduce the cooking time by about 10 minutes, to 55 minutes.

Now remove the vegetables to a serving dish and keep warm. Then spoon out the lemon slices into the tin, put a wooden spoon into the cavity and, using a spatula to hold the breast end up, tip the chicken and let all the juices run out into the tin. Transfer it to a carving board and leave it in a warm place to rest for 20 minutes.

Next stir the juices in the tin to release any crusty bits and transfer everything to a medium saucepan. Now add the wine, bring it up to a simmer and let it bubble and reduce by half – this will take about 5–10 minutes. Then add the lemon juice, taste and season.

Carve the chicken and serve with the vegetables on warm plates. Add any escaped chicken juices to the sauce then spoon it over the chicken and serve the rest in a warmed jug.

Nutrition 562kcals/37.8g protein/37.7g carbohydrate/8g sugars/28.9g fat/8.2g saturated fat/3.6g fibre/0.8g salt per serving for 6

Photo courtesy of Waitrose


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