Roast Chicken with Creamy Butternut Gratin

30/09/2012 16:00

Serves 6

2.25 Kg / 5lb chicken - remove string & giblets
55g/2oz butter
1 lemon, quartered
2 tbsp chopped fresh lemon thyme
sea salt & black pepper
1 tbsp plain flour
600ml / 1pt chicken stock

Preheat the oven 220C/ 425F/Gas Mark 7
Make sure the chicken is clean, wiping it inside out with kitchen paper, and place into a roasting tin. In a bowl, soften the butter with a fork and mix in the thyme, season well with salt & freshly ground black pepper. Butter the chicken all over with the herb butter, inside and out. Place the lemon quarters inside the chicken cavity.

Pop the chicken into the preheated oven and roast 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 190C/375F/Gas Mark 5, and roast for a further 1 1/4 hours, basting frequently. Covering with foil if the skin begins too brown to much.

Test the chicken is cooked by piercing the thickest part of the leg with a skewer, making sure the juices run clear. Remove the chicken from the tin and transfer to a warmed serving plate, covering loosely with foil. Leave to rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.

For Gravy ~ Place the roasting tin on top of the stove and bubble the pan juices gently over a low heat.Sprinkle in the flour and stir well. Slowly add the stock and bring to the boil. Season and simmer for 2 minutes. Transfer to a gravy boat to serve with the chicken.


Serves 4

1 Butternut squash
2 Garlic cloves, crushed
175ml Double or single cream
75g grated Parmesan or Gruyere cheese
Few fresh Sage leaves

Heat oven 190C/170F/GAS 5
Peel the squash and cut in halve, remove the seeds, and cut into thin slices. Place into a 1 litre baking dish, scatter over the sage leaves and season with salt & freshly ground black pepper. Put the garlic and cream into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Pour over the squash in the dish. Sprinkle over the grated cheese, cover with baking foil and pop in the  oven and bake for around 45 - 50minutes, until squash is soft and the top is bubbling and golden brown.

Tip ~ Butternuts hard rind and awkward shape means that they require careful cutting. The best way I find to cut up a Butternut squash is to use a good heavy chefs knife. Then, cut of the top and bottom off the squash. Then halve and scrape out all of the seeds. Peel the squash using a sharp vegetable peeler to peel the skin away in long strips. Then cut the squash into slices or strips required for your recipe.


serves 4

8 Red onion, peeled and bottoms sliced flat
2 tbsp olive oil
bunch fresh thyme

Preheat the oven 200C/Gas 6
In a pan of salted water, add the onions and bring to the boil, simmer for 8 -10 minutes just until they soften slightly. Remove with a slotted spoon and place them into a roasting tin, cut-side down. Drizzle over the olive oil and sprinkle over the thyme leaves, add a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pop into the oven and cook until beginning to turn golden - about 30 minutes.

 Serves 4


Heat the oven 200C, drizzle Olive oil over 2 garlic bulbs and wrap in a double layer of foil to make a parcel and roast for 35-40 minutes. Put 900g of Potatoes which have been peeled and cut into chunks into a large pan, add salt and sprigs of rosemary or thyme. Cover with water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, drain, remove the herbs and return the potatoes back to pan. Squeeze out the roasted garlic pulp into the potatoes. Add 50g butter and mash until smooth. Season with salt and white pepper and a little grating of nutmeg, and beat in 75ml gently heated single cream