Roast lemon-infused chicken

24 August 2012

Buying a whole chicken is more economical than buying smaller joints, so it makes sense to apply the cook-it-and-freeze-it principle here. The stuffing quantity is designed for one, so if you are serving the dish for more, simply increase the quantities.

Cooking time

1/2 hours

Serves

4



Ingredients

For the chicken

  • 1 chicken
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon, quartered

For the stuffing (per person)

  • 1 tsp lemon rind
  • 6 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh sage
  • 1 small egg, lightly beaten

Method

  • Heat the oven to 200ºC/Gas 6.
  • Wash and dry the chicken, rub it with the oil and season with a little salt and pepper.
  • Grate 1 tsp of the rind from the lemon, then put the lemon quarters inside the chicken cavity.
  • Roast in the oven for about 1 hour, checking and basting the chicken occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, mix the lemon rind, breadcrumbs, shallot and sage and season generously with salt and pepper. Add enough of the egg to bind the mixture and roll into 2 or 3 small balls. Add them to the roasting tin, roll in the juices and return the tin to the oven.
  • Continue to roast for about 30 minutes, allowing about 40 minutes per kg. The chicken is ready when the juices run clear when you pierce the thickest part of the thigh.
  • Remove from the oven, cover with foil, and leave to rest for a few minutes before carving.
  • Cut off and serve one chicken breast. Storing the extras
  • Cut off and reserve the legs and the remaining breast. When cool, wrap, label and freeze the legs and the breast separately.
  • Remove the remaining meat from the bones, pack into a freezer bag, label and freeze.
  • Put the carcase in a large saucepan, add an onion and a few carrots or vegetables and just cover with water. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes. Strain, discarding the carcase and vegetables, then boil to reduce by half.
  • Cool, pour into a freezer container, label and freeze.

Serving the remaining portions

Chicken with pancetta: Slice one chicken breast in half horizontally. Top each half with a slice of mozzarella and a sage or basil leaf, then wrap in a slice of pancetta secured with a cocktail stick. Fry in a little olive oil, adding a slug of white wine when almost done. Serve with a fresh mixed salad with a Balsamic
Dressing.

Chicken filo parcels: Defrost the stock and meat, and 6 filo pastry sheets, but keep it well wrapped as it dries out quickly. Blend 1 tsp cornflour with 250ml stock, add 2 tbsp redcurrant jelly and bring to the boil. Stir for a few minutes until thickened, then add the chicken and season with salt and a twist of black pepper. Brush the filo with oil and fold each sheet in half to make squares. Brush the edges with oil, spoon in some chicken, then twist the tops into little parcels. Brush with oil, then bake in the oven at 200ºC/Gas 6 for about 10 minutes until crisp and golden. Serve with a cucumber salad.

• Sweet and sour chicken: Defrost the chicken legs. Blend 250ml chicken stock with 2 tbsp mustard, 2 tbsp brown sugar, 3 tbsp tomato purée and some salt and a twist of pepper. Bring to the boil, then simmer, whisking, for a few minutes until it begins to thicken. Add the chicken and cook for about 10 minutes until thoroughly heated through, and the sauce has reduced to a sticky glaze. Serve on its own or with egg noodles.

Everyday Cooking For One: Imaginative, delicious and healthy recipes that make it fun to cook for one by Wendy Hobson is published by How To Books Ltd, priced £9.99.

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