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One crispy sage & lemon roast chicken

Crispy sage & lemon roast chicken

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  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:
    • Cook:
    • plus overnight chilling and resting
  • Easy
  • Serves 4 (or 2 with leftovers)

Rub salt into the skin of the roast chicken and leave it overnight for a lovely crisp finish. Chicken and sage are a classic pairing for this Christmas main

  • Gluten-free
Nutrition: Per serving
NutrientUnit
kcal537
fat37g
saturates15g
carbs3g
sugars1g
fibre1g
protein47g
salt3.1g
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Ingredients

  • 1½kg whole chicken
  • 1 heaped tbsp sea salt flakes
  • 2 small lemons, halved
  • 70g unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ small bunch of sage, finely chopped
  • ¼ small bunch of thyme, leaves picked
  • 3-5 fresh bay leaves

Method

  • STEP 1

    The night before, put the chicken in a medium roasting tin. Rub the salt generously over the skin and into the cavity, then grind over some black pepper. Push one half of a lemon into the cavity, then tie the legs together with kitchen string. Cover and chill overnight.

  • STEP 2

    Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Dab a little of the excess salt from the skin using kitchen paper.

  • STEP 3

    Mix the butter with the garlic and sage. Push the herby garlic butter under the skin using your hands and rub it over the flesh, making sure it’s evenly spread out. Stuff the thyme and bay leaves into the cavity, then put the remaining lemon halves in the tin around the chicken. Roast for 1 hr, then baste the chicken with the buttery juices from the tin. Roast for a further 20-30 mins, or until cooked through. Check the chicken is cooked by inserting a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh – the juices should run clear.

  • STEP 4

    Transfer the chicken to a board, cover and leave to rest for 20 mins before carving. Slice and serve on a warmed platter.

RECIPE TIPS

ROSEMARY & PANCETTA ROAST CHICKEN
In step three, instead of using garlic and sage, finely chop 70g smoked pancetta and ½ bunch of rosemary leaves and mix with the butter.
ADD SMOKY FLAVOUR
Mix ½ tbsp smoked paprika and 2 tsp dried oregano into the butter before rubbing into the chicken.
SAUSAGE STUFFING
Or, squeeze the sausagemeat from 2 pork sausages and mix with ½ bunch of sage or thyme leaves, finely chopped, and 2 chopped shallots.

Goes well with

Recipe from Good Food magazine, Christmas 2020

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