I could rant on and on about this topic, but I’ll spare you. Just try out this chicken. If for no other reason than to make your home smell like heaven for a few hours.
- 3-4 pound chicken
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4½ pounds potatoes, peeled
- 1 large lemon
- 1 whole bulb of garlic, broken into cloves
- A handful of fresh thyme
- Avocado oil
- A handful of fresh rosemary sprigs, leaves picked
- 8 strips of uncooked bacon
- Rub the chicken inside and out with a generous amount of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Do this in the morning if possible, then cover the chicken and leave in the fridge until you're ready to start cooking it for lunch or dinner. (This ensures the meat is seasoned well!)
- Preheat your oven to 375°F. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil.
- Cut the potatoes into golf-ball-sized pieces, put them into the water with the whole lemon and the garlic cloves, and cook for 12 minutes. Drain and allow to steam dry for 1 minute (this will give you crispier potatoes), then remove the lemon and garlic.
- Toss the potatoes into the roasting pan while still hot so their outsides get a little beat up - this will make them lovely and crispy when they roast. Take the chicken out of the fridge, pat it with kitchen paper and rub it all over with olive oil.
- While the lemon is still hot, carefully stab it about 10 times. Push the garlic cloves, the whole lemon and the thyme into the cavity, then put the chicken into the roasting tray and cook in the preheated oven for around 45 minutes or until cooked through.
- Remove the chicken to a plate. Toss the potatoes around in the drippings and add the rosemary leaves. Shake the tray around, then make a gap in the center of the potatoes and put the chicken back in.
- If using the bacon, lay the slices over the chicken breast and cook for a further 45 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked and the potatoes are nice and golden. (You can tell the chicken is cooked when the thigh meat pulls easily away from the bone and the juices run clear.) A meat thermometer should read about 170 degrees.
- Remove the bacon from the chicken and crumble it up over the potatoes. Then remove the lemon and garlic from inside the chicken, squeeze all the garlic flesh out of the skin, mush it up and smear it all over the chicken, discard the lemon and rosemary and carve the chicken at the table.
- Goes nicely with a green salad. Serves 4 with leftovers.
- I don't have a roasting pan, but used my 9x13 pyrex baking dish. It's a bit snug, but it works.
- I didn't smear the garlic over the chicken because we don't eat the skin, so I put it in a small bowl and used it as a condiment at the table.