Lemon and thyme roasted chicken, with Mediterranean butterbeans and sweet leek gravy (serves 4)
The Chicken30g 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 celery sticks (plus another celery stick for trimmings stock)
150ml white wine
1 bay leaf
The Butterbeans1 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)
Juice of ¼ a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Leek Gravy1 tbsp butter
1 large leek, finely sliced (the dark green ends kept for chicken trimmings stock)
1 garlic clove, crushed
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.