Roast Chicken With Lemon And Thyme

A roasted chicken with all the trimmings is a great traditional Sunday lunch. A succulent chicken with its skin roasted golden, bacon rolls, giblet sauce, sage and  onion stuffing, creamy bread sauce, crispy roast potatoes, broccoli or cabbage, roasted parsnips or carrots…. and a rich chicken gravy. What could be more delicious?

And that was certainly my view until we visited friends in France, who told us they were planning roast chicken for our lunch with them. But this was roasted chicken with a difference!

Here is the recipe :

You will need a large free range chicken, preferably corn-fed. The first step is to season the chicken with pepper and salt and then sear the chicken, breast down over gentle heat in a heavy fireproof casserole dish on top of the stove with a generous amount of  butter, say 150 – 200gm. When the chicken’s breast is golden, remove the casserole dish from the heat.

Take two large lemons, cut in half and squeeze the lemon juice over the chicken in the casserole. Remove any pips and place the squeezed lemon halves inside the chicken, together with a couple of sprigs of thyme. Cover the casserole and place it in a moderate oven, checking every half hour and adding a little water if the lemon butter juices are in danger of drying out. Half an hour before the chicken is cooked, pour off the lemon butter and chicken juices into a small saucepan ready to be warmed up before serving. Add a little more butter and return the chicken to a hot oven to allow the skin to crisp up.

Serve the rich, lemon and thyme flavoured chicken with bacon rolls, French fries and green beans or a crispy green salad, and, of course, that rich butter and lemon sauce!

The chicken, butter and lemon blend beautifully to make a dish that is both rich and refreshing. Roasted chicken with a difference, and even more delicious!