Crowd pleasers! Perfect roast chicken

By Daily Mail Recipe


Impress your guests with simple but stunning dishes from TV chef Lisa Faulkner's new book

Crowd pleasers! Perfect roast chicken

Crowd pleasers! Perfect roast chicken

Roast chicken is the ultimate in comfort food  – just walking through the door to the smell of it roasting in the oven is enough to make me breathe a great big sigh. A week before Christmas last year I was really craving roast chicken, even though I knew I’d have my fill of roast dinners over the coming days. I decided  to roast the bird and serve it with shallots, thyme and peas. Although I’ve cooked roast chicken many times before, this was probably the best combination of flavours yet, so I thought I’d share the recipe with you.

Serves a family of 4

1 onion, quartered

1 celery stick, halved

1 carrot, cut into thirds

1 lemon

1 x 1.5kg (3lb 5oz) chicken

4-5 garlic cloves, skin on but smashed a bit

Oil for rubbing over the chicken

Salt and pepper

25g (1oz) butter

For the shallots

60g (2¼oz) butter

8-10 echalion or banana shallots, peeled  and cut in half lengthways

4 thyme sprigs

200g (7oz) peas

75-100ml (2½-3½fl oz) fresh chicken stock

Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan 160°C/gas 5. Place the onion, celery and carrot on a large baking tray. Cut the lemon into wedges and stuff them into the cavity of the chicken with the garlic. Put the chicken on top of the veg and rub the skin with oil, then season it all over and smear the butter over the breasts.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes per 500g (1lb 2oz) plus another 20 minutes (usually a 1.5kg/3lb 5oz bird takes about 1 hour 20 minutes). Baste every 30 minutes, or about 3 times. Test to see if the chicken is cooked by piercing the flesh  at the leg joint with a sharp knife and pressing down gently – if the juices run clear, it should be cooked. Carefully lift the chicken out of the tray and then leave to rest for at least 15 minutes. While the chicken is resting, prepare the shallots. Melt the butter over a medium-low heat and add the shallots, cut-side down. Season, add the thyme and let them cook away slowly for a good  10 minutes, turning up the heat a little so that they get a bit of colour. After 15 minutes, add the peas and a splash of chicken stock and let the pan bubble away for a further 10-15 minutes. Serve with the roast chicken and some roast potatoes.

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