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Lemon & bay roast chicken with cauliflower & celeriac purée
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400g bag echalion shallots, peeled and halved
6 bay leaves
50g unsalted butter, softened
Finely grated zest and juice 1 lemon
2kg extra large whole chicken
150ml chicken stock
2 x 200g packs cavolo nero
1 tbsp olive oil
For the purée
50g unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 small celeriac, peeled and diced (700g prepared weight)
1 cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets (about 700g prepared weight)
150ml whole milk
Freshly grated nutmeg
1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC, gas mark 6. Place the shallots and 3 bay leaves in the base of a large roasting tin. Mash together the softened butter and lemon zest and season. Rub all over the chicken, pushing some under the skin of the breasts too. Halve the zested lemon and set aside one half for later. Squeeze the other half over the chicken, then place it in the cavity along with the remaining 3 bay leaves. Sit the chicken, breast-side down, on the shallots and roast for 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, make the purée. Place the butter and garlic in a large saucepan with a tight fitting lid. Set over a medium heat and add the celeriac. Cover and sweat for 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower, season, give everything a stir and cover again. Cook for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft. Uncover, add the milk, and simmer gently for a final 5 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly, then purée in a blender or food processor with the nutmeg. Return to the pan until ready to serve.
3. Lower the oven to 180ºC, gas mark 4. Turn the chicken breast-side up and add the stock to the base of the pan. Roast for another 1 hour
or until the chicken is fully cooked through, the juices run clear and there is no pink meat. Allow the chicken to rest for 30 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, strip the cavolo nero from the stalks (keep the trimmed stalks for soups or smoothies) and tear or chop the leaves into 4-5cm pieces. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, season, and fry the cavolo nero leaves for 2-3 minutes, stirring regularly. Squeeze over a little of the juice from the remaining lemon half and fry for another 2-3 minutes until wilted and tender. Serve the carved chicken with the hot purée, shallots and gravy, along with the cavolo nero.
Typical values per serving:
This recipe was first published in February 2020.