And what to do with them
1. Prepare the chicken the night before or a few hours prior to cooking at the very least by rubbing it all over with a good amount of seasoning. We saw this on a Jamie Oliver programme and it really does make a big difference. Leave it in the fridge, covered, until you’re ready to cook.
2. Preheat the oven to 190⁰C/375⁰F/gas five while bringing a pan of salted water to a rolling boil.
3. Put the potatoes into the pan along with the whole lemon and a few garlic cloves and cook for roughly 20 minutes. They should be soft the whole way through but firm in shape. Then put them to one side.
4. Removing the lemon from the pan, pierce it in several places to allow the juices to infuse the chicken. Rub the chicken again, this time with olive oil, and push the lemon, garlic cloves and fresh thyme inside the chicken. Place it onto a roasting tray and cook for one hour and fifteen minutes.
5. In the meantime, you can prepare your vegetables. Starting with the carrots, find a separate roasting tin and tip them in with the oil and seasoning, coating evenly. Pop them into the oven for 30 minutes to roast, before introducing the honey and vinegar. Be sure that each carrot has been coated and then return to the oven for a final 20 minutes. Alternatively, you can do this stage by pan frying if you want more of a blistered effect.
6. While the carrots and chicken are roasting, it’s time for the turn of both salads. Each can be prepared in no more than ten minutes. Simply sit the ingredients for each salad in its own colander and wash thoroughly. Toss through to shake off excess water droplets and then tumble into your serving dishes of choice.
7. Now you can take the chicken out and drizzle the balsamic glaze on top, spreading it out with a pastry brush. Then return to the oven for a further 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
8. Five minutes before the chicken is due out, add the finishing touches to your potatoes. Mix the butter with the mint and chives and, drained of water, return the potatoes to a gentle heat and add the herb butter. Put the lid on and after a minute, give the contents a swill to distribute the delicious butter around the pan. Keep a close eye so the butter doesn’t burn, the aim here is to just warm the potatoes through.
9. Potatoes and salads ready, take the chicken out, remove the lemon, squeeze out the garlic pulp and then move that across the chicken for even more flavour. Add a tad more balsamic glaze on top and serve the chicken on a bed of thyme and fresh bay leaves. The carrots should also be ready and we like to serve those scattered on a breadboard with a dressing on the side that works with every aspect of the meal (simple extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar is all you need.)