Welcome to all about food. With this amazing weather, I am using every meal time to get out to the garden to eat – food always tastes better outside! This roast chicken is no exception…enjoy!
Roast Chicken with Pilaf Rice and Salsa Verde (serves 4)
A 3lb (1.5kg) organic or free-range chicken (depending on numbers and budget)
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
1 lemon, cut into chunks
4 whole garlic cloves
For the Salsa Verde:
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
4 anchovies, optional
A small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
A small bunch of parsley, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon of sea salt
The juice of 1 lemon
100ml of olive oil
For the pilaf:
A knob of butter
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
The zest of a lemon
2 sprigs thyme
1 mug of basmati rice
1½ mugs of hot chicken stock (try to buy the best quality you can – if you don’t have some home made that is!)
* Heat the fan oven to 180ºc. Put the chicken in a roasting tray, tuck the lemon, thyme, and garlic cloves in and underneath the bird. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season. Roast for 20 minutes per pound plus a further 20 minutes until crisp and golden. Allow the chicken to rest for half an hour before serving.
* To make the pilaf, heat a large knob of butter in an ovenproof pan. Cook the onion and garlic until softened. Stir in the lemon, thyme and rice and cook for a minute then pour in the stock and stir well. Cover with a lid or cover tightly with foil to keep in the moisture then transfer to the oven with the chicken for 20-25 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed.
* To make the salsa verde: Finely chop all the ingredients that can be chopped. Put this mixture into a bowl and add the mustard and vinegar. Slowly stir in the olive oil and balance the flavours with salt and black pepper. I like to serve this type of food in large platters and bowls in the middle of the table allowing everyone to tuck in!
Gingergirl aka Helen Keown is an artisan food producer who produces a range of handmade luxury jams, preserves and chutneys.
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