roast chicken with lemon gravy, peas and asparagus

Lindsey Bareham

A glass of white wine does wonders for the lemony gravy that goes with this lovely roast chicken. A hint of garlic and fresh thyme permeates the flesh. It’s delicious with the last of this season’s asparagus and peas.

serves 4, prep 20 min, cook 60 min

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion
1.8kg chicken
40g soft butter
1 lemon
2 garlic cloves
Several sprigs of thyme or rosemary
A large glass of white wine
250g shucked peas or frozen petits pois
250g English asparagus tips
1 dsp flour

Heat the oven to 230C/gas 8. Smear half the oil in the middle of a roasting tin that can hold the chicken snugly. Add finely chopped onion. Season inside the chicken, smear with remaining oil and most of the butter. Place on top of the onion. Crush and peel the garlic. Place inside the cavity with the herbs. Squeeze the lemon over the chicken and place the lemon halves inside the cavity. Add the wine and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 min, turn down to 190C/gas 5 and cook for a further 45 min with occasional basting.

Turn off the oven, leave the door ajar and rest for 15 min before lifting to a warmed plate for carving. While the bird rests, boil peas for 5 min and trimmed asparagus for 3 min separately in salted water. Drain, reserving a cup of asparagus water. Toss with remaining butter. Carefully drain excess fat from chicken juices, sift over the flour, stirring vigorously over a low heat, adding asparagus water. Simmer, stirring for 2-3 min, strain into a jug to serve.