Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Recipe: Lemon and thyme roasted chicken, with Mediterranean butterbeans and sweet leek gravy

Hey guys. Now this is, I must admit, a bit of a lengthy recipe, but then again it is a proper gurt lush roast chicken dinner, with a properly made gravy (no bisto here!) so it requires perhaps a little more effort than a lot of my quick-fix recipes. My housemates loved it, as did I. I've really perfected this roast chicken recipe, i've tried "lemon thyme" chicken's before, but theyve always ended up too lemony! Basically, don't chuck a lemon up the chicken's jacky, nor squeeze a load of the lemon juice onto the chicken/ into the roasting dish. Again- too sharp and lemony! I made a leek gravy in the end because I didn't have any onions/shallots and it's just what i had in the house- use onions instead if you fancy. Cooking time of the chicken of course depends on how big your chicky-bird is, just generally roast until you can put a knife into the thigh cavity of the bird and the juices run clear.
Lemon and thyme roasted chicken, with Mediterranean butterbeans and sweet leek gravy (serves 4)

The Chicken
30g butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 clove garlic, crushed
Handful fresh thyme
Zest of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper
1 rasher smoked bacon
1 small/medium raw chicken
2 shallots
2 celery sticks (plus another celery stick for trimmings stock)
150ml white wine
150ml water
1 bay leaf

The Butterbeans
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
6 spring onions, sliced
1 rasher bacon, finely chopped
1 tsp herbs du provence
2 tins butterbeans, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp diced roasted red peppers (from a jar)
200ml water
Juice of ¼ a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

Leek Gravy
1 tbsp butter
1 large leek, finely sliced (the dark green ends kept for chicken trimmings stock)
1 garlic clove, crushed
Pinch sugar
100ml white wine
400ml chicken stock (made from the chicken trimmings)
1 tsp corn flour, mixed with water

1. Preheat the oven to 180. Soften the butter, and mix it with the olive oil, 1 clove of garlic, thyme, lemon and seasoning. Prep the chicken- cut the strings tying it together, and chop off the wing tips, the bottom of the legs, and part of the tail. Put these trimmings in a pan, with a the green bits of the leek, a celery stick, a crushed garlic clove, a bay leaf, a sprig of thyme, and some seasoning. Fill this pan up with water, bring to the boil, and cook for 30 minutes (to make a temporary stock) and set aside.

2. Put 2 celery sticks, a garlic clove, and shallots in a deep roasting tin. Place the prepped chicken on top of this. Rub all over with the garlic/herb/lemon butter, and put a rasher of bacon on top. Pour the wine and water into the roasting tin, and put in the oven for about 1 hour/ 1 hour and a half (depending on how large the chicken is). Remove the chicken from the oven half way through cooking, remove the bacon rasher, top up with water/wine if necessary, and put back in the oven.

3. In a medium saucepan, fry the spring onions and bacon for 5 minutes. Add all the other ingredients and cook on a high heat for a further 5 minutes. Season to taste, and set aside.

4. Remove the chicken from the oven, lift it from the roasting tin onto a plate, and cover it with foil to let it rest. In another saucepan, fry the leek, garlic and sugar in butter for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add all other gravy ingredients and all the scraped juices from the roasting tin, and cook on a high heat until thickened (takes about 10 minutes). Season to taste.

5. Carve the chicken, and serve this with the hot butterbeans and gravy.

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