Crispy Chicken with Tomatoes, Roast Garlic Mash and Smashed Herb Oil
It’s crucial to use a chicken breast with the skin on for this recipe (or a chicken supreme, which still has its bone in). We always cook chicken breasts with the skin on – it tastes so much better and helps it to stay moist (and it’s secretly our favourite bit, especially on a roast). This is a really good dish – like, really good. It sings and dances all the way to a happy place. Once you make this for a dinner party it will become a staple – just follow with something light and creamy for dessert.
|1 whole head of||garlic|
|2||large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks|
|1½ tbsp||crème fraîche|
|2||skin-on chicken breasts or chicken supremes|
|drizzle of olive oil|
|2 tbsp||white wine 6 tomatoes, halved|
|small bunch of||thyme, leaves picked|
|pinch of sugar|
|drizzle of balsamic vinegar|
|sea salt and pepper|
|For the basil oil:|
|small bunch of||basil, leaves torn|
|juice of ½ lemon|
1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas 7.
2. Slice off the top of the head of garlic and place in an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle with some water and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes until the cloves are starting to bubble out of the top. Set aside to cool.
3. Put the potatoes into a pan, cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer for about 20 minutes until soft to the touch, then drain. Mash the potato by using a potato ricer (if you don’t have one, then just mash until smooth), place in a bowl and add the butter, crème fraîche and a large pinch of salt and pepper. Squeeze out the soft garlic from its skins, add to the potato and mix well.
4. Meanwhile place the tomatoes in an ovenproof dish, sprinkle with the thyme leaves and sugar, and drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, and place in the oven for 20–30 minutes until starting to colour. Set aside.
5. Place an ovenproof frying pan over a high heat. Rub the chicken with a drizzle of olive oil and season with salt and pepper, then place in the pan. Fry for about 4–5 minutes, skin side down, then turn and cook for another 2–3 minutes. Remove pan from heat and place in the oven for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for at least 2 minutes. Meanwhile, pour the white wine into the pan and bubble for a minute or two to deglaze the pan.
6. Make the basil oil: grind all the ingredients together using a mortar and pestle until the leaves are broken up and you have a chunky green oil. Season with salt and pepper.
7. Put a good dollop of the garlic mash on a warm plate followed by three tomatoes and the chicken breast. Pour over the white wine reduction and drizzle with the basil oil.