It’s been a mad week here! We have a gîte with a full quota of guests, my son and his girlfriend staying in the house, 4 friends staying last night in a tent and my nephew arriving today. So my first thought of the day is wondering how many I am cooking for that evening. Luckily tonight it’s only seven but I need a little break so this is a dish that is really easy and keeps the chicken really moist.
Here’s what you need for 4 people:
- 2 small chickens
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 2 sprigs rosemary (about 1 tbsp when chopped) or 2tsp dried
- 2 sprigs of tarragon or 2tsp dried
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- sea salt
- ground black pepper
- 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
Here’s what to do:
- First prepare the marinade my mixing the lemon juice, zest, oil and chopped herbs.
- Next prepare the chicken – it’s really easy. You can use poultry shears but I find it easier with a sharp knife. Put the chicken neck end down on a chopping board and holding the backbone, start cutting through the ribs. Repeat down the other side and remove the backbone. Either chuck it or freeze for making stock later. Flatten the chicken by pushing down hard on the breast area.
- Carefully separate the skin from the breast and squidge the garlic in. You could mix it with butter to make it very naughty.
- Spread the herb marinade all over the skin of the chicken and pop it in the fridge for a couple of hours if you can.
- Cook in the oven at 180 C or Gas 5/6 for about an hour and thirty minutes, depending on the size of your chicken. You can also barbecue this slowly.
- You can use this marinade on a normal roast chicken and this way you can stuff the squeezed lemon halves inside the cavity for extra flavour. It’s also great on a rotisserie.
So here’s a really delicious marinade that you could use on any chicken. Putting the garlic under the skin stops it from burning and allows it to get right into the flesh. If you are going for a virtuous option then omit the oil and mix the garlic and herbs together and then slather onto skinless breast or thigh and cook in foil. Open the foil for the last 5 minutes.