Bergamot and lemon roast chicken

Bergamot and lemon roast chicken

By
From
Citrus
Serves
4
Photographer
Mowie Kay

A classic lemony roast chicken is hard to beat, but any particularly fragrant, acidic citrus will also help chicken shine. The bergamot is subtle, but this is exactly what you need – it enhances the chicken flavour, adds an elusive perfume, and will help add depth to any resulting stock and soup. One to cook in the middle of winter when you need a bit of uplift in your life.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 chicken
1 bergamot, Pared zest and juice
a few sprigs tarragon
a few sprigs thyme
1/2 head garlic, cloves separated and left unpeeled
50g butter, softened
125ml vermouth
125ml water
300ml chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon runny honey, (optional)
sea salt

Method

  1. Sprinkle the inside and out of the chicken with salt and, if you have time, leave to air dry, uncovered, in the refrigerator overnight. This is not essential, but does improve texture. Either way, remove from the refrigerator an hour before you want to cook it so it can start cooking from room temperature. Preheat the oven to 230°C.
  2. Put most of the pared bergamot zest in the cavity of the chicken, with half of each herb. Put the remaining zest, herbs and garlic in the bottom of a roasting tin and place the chicken on top. Rub the skin all over with the butter, then sprinkle with half the bergamot juice. Pour in the vermouth and water.
  3. Roast for 15 minutes, then turn down to 200°C and roast for a further 45 minutes. Check the chicken is done – if not, roast for a further 5–10 minutes. Remove from the roasting tin to a platter and leave to rest.
  4. For the gravy, remove the herbs, zest and garlic from the tin and spoon off any fat. Squish the flesh out of all the garlic cloves and add to the roasting tin juices. Put the tin over a low heat and stir until you have scraped up any brown bits on the base. Add the stock and most of the rest of the bergamot juice. Taste before adding the honey, if you think the sauce could do with extra sweetness. Bring to the boil. When the chicken has rested for 20 minutes, add any juices which have been released during that time. Return the sauce to the boil and add the remaining bergamot juice to freshen it up.
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