Roast chicken with lemon and rosemary
( SERVES 4 )
Photo by Elizabeth Clarkson
- To make the stuffing, heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the onions gently until soft and starting to colour. Add the pancetta or bacon and continue to fry, stirring often. Add the chopped lemon and 2 tablespoons of the rosemary, and fry for a few minutes more.
- Remove from the heat, then add the breadcrumbs, and 2 teaspoons of the salt and the pepper. Allow to cool.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200degC.
- Meanwhile, make the paste for the skin by crushing the garlic on a chopping board with the remaining teaspoon of salt, removing the garlic skin, then mixing in the rest of the rosemary.
- Dry the chicken inside and out, and stuff the cavity with the cooled stuffing. Tie the legs together to prevent the stuffing oozing out. Rub the skin with olive oil, then spread with the rosemary and garlic paste.
- Place the chicken in an oven dish and roast for around 1½ hours (or less if the chicken is not organic), basting occasionally, until the skin is beautifully brown. Take the chicken from the dish, sprinkle it with the balsamic, cover with foil and allow it to rest for at least 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make a light gravy by deglazing the pan with wine or stock, stirring with a wooden spoon. Allow this to bubble up, then simmer very slowly for 10 minutes. Carve the chicken neatly and serve with the gravy, accompanied by roast potatoes and seasonal green veges or a simple leafy green salad.