- 1 free-range chicken
- 1-2 lemons, quartered
- small bunch thyme
- 2 whole bulbs garlic, tops sliced off
- 800g (1lb 12oz) potatoes
- 150g (5oz) soft goats' cheese
- 2tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Heat the oven to 180C, 160C fan, 350F, gas 4. Stuff the chicken cavity with the lemons and thyme sprigs. Drizzle the chicken with oil and season well. Splash a little olive oil over the garlic bulbs, wrap in foil and place on a roasting tray along with the chicken. Roast in the oven until the chicken juices run clear – check after 1 hour. The cooking time will depend on the size of your chicken. Pour any roasting juices into a jug and scoop off any fat.
Boil the potatoes until tender, then mash, add the goats’ cheese, parsley, salt and plenty of black pepper, then mix well. When the garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze out the soft garlic and add to the mash or serve on the side. Carve or joint the chicken and pour over the juices. Serve with the mash and some garden peas.
Choose the best chicken – with chicken, you get what you pay for. You want a free-range (lives at least 56 days), organic chicken (lives up to 120 days), compared with 39 days for caged chickens. A good chicken will give you less weight loss in water, much better gravy, as the bones are older, and a fantastic flavour. Waste less – any leftover mash is fab mixed with leafy greens and fried as a cake until crispy.