Rosemary Shrager's Lemon-cured Chicken
This is a simple but delicious roast, but you do need to start preparations the day before by rubbing the chicken with the lemon mixture. It really is worth doing this, as it makes a big difference to the texture of the meat. Lovely served with crushed new potatoes and some salad.
|2 tbsp||runny honey|
|2 tbsp||soft brown sugar|
|1 tbsp||flaked sea salt|
|1 tsp||black peppercorns, crushed|
|olive oil, for drizzling|
|1 x 1.5kg||chicken|
1 The day before you want to cook the chicken, mix together the honey, sugar, zest of the lemons, salt and peppercorns. Rub the mixture all over the chicken, then put the chicken in a bowl, cover and leave it in the fridge for 24 hours. Turn the chicken every 4 hours or whenever possible.
2 Preheat the oven to 170°C/Fan 150°/Gas 3½. Remove the chicken from the fridge and discard any liquid. Put the chicken in a roasting tin and throw the lemon halves in too if you like. Drizzle the chicken with oil and roast in the preheated oven for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until the juices run clear. If you have a digital meat thermometer, put it in the thickest part of the leg – the meat should reach 70°C. If you find the top is going too brown, cover it with some foil.
3 Once the chicken is done, remove it from the oven and leave it to rest for 20 minutes before carving.
Cook's Tip: you can finish this chicken on the barbecue if you like. Cook it in the oven as above for an hour, then put it on the barbecue, over a medium heat, for 15–20 minutes. Check that it’s perfectly cooked before serving.