I’m back! And I don’t have any excuse other than a little bit of negligence in the kitchen over the last few months. I sort of lost my way and found myself with Deliveroo as my new best friend, but after taking a long hard look at my bank statements and realising that spending 40% of my salary on takeaways is just not sustainable (Mum and Dad don’t worry – it’s not actually that much) I’ve regained my love for my pots and pans and cooking up treats at a fraction of the cost.
Although London at the moment is pretty dull and grey, I can’t really complain about the summer that we’ve had this year. I was lucky enough to get to Glastonbury for the second time back in June and think we had about an hour of rain over the whole 5 days – anyone from the UK will know that if Glasto weekend is a dry one – it usually means we’re in for some sun and the Gods have not disappointed!
Anyway, enough rambling about the weather, it was sort of related to today’s post as it’s the second in my Summer Series! Last year I started my Summer Series with my BBQ Pulled Pork recipe and I had every intention of it being a regular feature but then long summer weekends filled with day drinking with friends and exploring London in the sun got in the way and I found I wasn’t in the kitchen as much as I’d hoped. So for now the Summer Series will be something I add to as and when the sun comes out and inspires me to make something special.
I hope you enjoy this one – when I went home a couple of weeks I was desperate to sit around the kitchen table and have a roast with my family but no one was that enthusiastic about chowing down on roast potatoes and gravy in 32°C heat so this was our happy compromise – I still got my juice roast chicken and a bit of roast veg but without the post-roast guilt of eating allll the carbs that no one wants on a sunny afternoon.
Ingredients (Serves 4-6)
1 Chicken (approx. 1.5kg)
Zest of 1 Lemon
Juice of ½ Lemon
1 Garlic Clove, crushed
Handful of Mint Leaves, finely chopped
Tenderstem Broccoli, roasted
Sun Dried Tomatoes
Boiled Jersey Potatoes
Fresh Pesto (recipe below)
– Preheat the oven to 200°C/190°C Fan/390ºF/Gas Mark 6 and have a roasting tray to hand
In a small bowl, mix together the butter, garlic, lemon zest, mint leaves and a squeeze of lemon juice. Smear all over the chicken, making sure you get the butter between all the joints.
Add the lemon and onion to the cavity of the chicken, transfer to the roasting dish and place in the centre of the oven to roast until the juices run clear – this guide is a massive help with timing all roasts as cooking times will depend on the weight of the chicken.
Once the chicken is cooked through, take it out of the oven and cover with foil to rest for 15 minutes.
Whilst the chicken is in the oven, prepare the trimmings so that once the chicken is rested and carved you’re ready to go.
2 Tbsp Pine Nuts
Pinch of Salt
250g Fresh Basil Leaves
25g Parmesan, grated
25g Pecorino, grated
300ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Juice of ½ Lemon
Add all the ingredients into a small food processor (my nutribullet works really well for this) and blitz together, for a couple of seconds at a time, tasting as you go along and adding more salt/cheese/oil if necessary.
Once you have a taste and consistency you’re happy with, transfer to a small dish and add in a squeeze of lemon juice for an extra tang.
Serve your chicken with roasted summer vegetables, boiled jersey potatoes and wild rice, sun dried tomatoes and fresh pesto and enjoy the last of this year’s summer sun!