Friday, 18 December 2009

Roast chicken with garlic and tarragon, Puy lentils and roasted tomatoes

A large organic chicken
A bunch each of chives, parsley and tarragon, all chopped finely
Juice of half a lemon, plus the zest
3 cloves garlic, sliced finely
A third of a pat of butter - softened to room temperature, plus an extra knob
Salt and pepper
For the lentils
250g Puy lentils
Half an onion, very finely diced
Olive oil
Pint of chicken stock
Thyme, leaves picked and roughly chopped
For the tomatoes
Two "branches" of vine tomatoes
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Put the chicken in a large, ceramic ovenproof dish. The tricky bit: gently loosen the skin from around the neck, and gently (remove any rings that will snag the skin) separate the skin from the flesh all over the breasts. It's fiddly - don't tear the skin. In a small bowl, mix the herbs, lemon juice and zest, pepper, salt and garlic into the butter, to make a paste. Now, using your hands, push the butter underneath the skin you've loosened, smoothing it all over the flesh of the breasts as evenly as you can. Then neatly truss the bird up. Melt the extra butter and rub it all over the outside of the bird, sides and all, season it very well, and then roast it in a hot oven for 15mins. Turn the oven down to medium and then roast for a further hour or so. After half an hour's cooking time, cover with foil. After cooking, the bird should rest under the foil for about 15mins.
Meanwhile, the lentils... Sweat the onions in the olive oil for ten minutes. Add the lentils, stir, then pour in the stock. Stir and bring to a gently simmer for about 20mins, until the lentils are tender. Stir in the thyme leaves, plus a couple of teaspoons of cooking juice from the chicken.
Meanwhile the tomatoes... Keeping the toms on their vine, place in a small ceramic dish so that they fit snugly but not overlapping. Drizzle with oil, scatter with salt and pepper and roast in the top of a hot oven for about 8 mins, until tender but not too coloured.

Inspired by a recipe by Rick Stein. Painting of garlic by my sister, Amy.

1 comment:

  1. oh my. that sounds so so so delicious. and last night i made carrot and pumpkin soup AND raisin and walnut bread in a nod to your last foodie post. had them both for lunch today, it was YUMSO, as my 3 year old is wont to say!