There are some who might claim that Roast Chicken is a winter dish: they are wrong. Convert such naysayers with this delicious take on roast chicken: a dish for all seasons.
With a few sprightly accompaniments, a different sauce from the traditional heavy ‘gravy’, a particularly good bird and a crisp white wine, this is summer supper at its best.
Try and get a nice free-range bird: the flavour and texture are truly much better, and they don’t have alarmingly over-sized breasts.
Roast Chicken with Anchovy, Rosemary and Lemon Butter
1 chicken (free range)
20g unsalted butter
salt and pepper
1/2 tin of anchovies
2 cloves garlic
zest 1/2 lemon
100g good unsalted butter
1 sprig rosemary
squeeze lemon juice
Braised Baby Carrots with Honey and Thyme
1 bunch young carrots with stalks
2 Tbsp butter
2 tsp honey (thyme honey if you can find it)
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Chives and chive flowers
salt and pepper
Take the chicken out of the fridge two hours before you want to start cooking it and let it reach room temperature. Rub the butter all over it (inside and under too) and season with plenty of sea salt and black pepper.
Preheat the oven to 180.
Put the chicken in a roasting dish, breast side down and roast for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, baste it with its juices then turn over, breast side facing up. Roast for another 45 mins. Skewer the inside leg to see if the chicken is done: the juices should run clear (not pink). Remove from the tray and rest on a dish under tin foil for 15 mins.
At this point, make the sauce. Pour off he chicken fat and juices from the pan and put in small saucepan. Slice the garlic and fry this in the chicken juice over a low heat. Add the chopped rosemary and the anchovies and allow to melt. Slowly add in the butter, bit by bit, stirring after each addition so that the sauce homogenizes. Finish with the lemon zest, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Pour some over the chicken just before serving and serve the remainder in a jug alongside.
Scrub the carrots well. Put them in a wide shallow pan with the butter, honey, thyme, salt and pepper. Pour over enough water just to cover. Braise on a medium heat for 30 mins, until the water has evaporated. Serve warm with chopped chives and chive flowers.
Meanwhile, scrub 1 kg new potatoes and boil in salted water until soft. Drain and serve with butter and chopped parsley.