Herb Roast Chicken with Buttered Peas

Paul Heathcote's 1 hour version of a traditional family favourite is served with the perfect vegetable accompaniment
By Paul Heathcote
Herb Roast Chicken with Buttered Peas
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes plus 10 minutes resting time
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the herb stuffing

  • 1 sprigs tarragon, finely chopped
  • 1 sprigs chervil, finely chopped
  • 1 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
  • 25 g soft cream cheese
  • 25 g soft butter
  • 1/2 lemon, finely grated zest only

For the chicken

  • 1 x 1.5-2 kg chicken
  • olive oil, for basting
  • 1 carrot

For the buttered peas with lettuce and bay leaf

  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp white wine
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp English mustard
  • 1/8 iceberg lettuce, finely shredded
  • 2 tsp double cream
  • 100 g chilled unsalted butter, diced
  • 1 pinches freshly ground freshly ground white pepper
  • 250 g cooked peas


1. For the herb stuffing: Combine the herbs with the cream cheese, butter and zest. Season well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and set aside.

2. For the chicken: preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6.

3. Remove the parson's nose from the chicken and trim off any excess fat. Loosen the skin from the breast by gently working your fingers over the meat and under the skin on one side to make a pocket. Repeat on the other side.

4. Stuff the herb mixture evenly under the skin on both breasts. With a sharp knife, score the legs with two or three incisions. This will make the legs crispy and allow them to cook more quickly. Tie up the legs of the chicken. Rub olive oil over the chicken and season with salt and pepper.

5. Heat a roasting tin on the hob. Add the chicken on its side, with the thigh of the chicken pressed firmly down to brown. Use the carrot as a wedge to balance the chicken and prevent the breast from falling onto the baking dish. Turn the chicken to the other side, wedged as before, and brown this side. Finally turn the chicken onto its back to brown.

6. Add a little water to the roasting tin to stop the juices from burning. Transfer to the oven and roast for 1 hour. To test if the bird is cooked, insert a skewer or the tip of a small knife into the wing joint. The juices that run out should be clear, not bloody.

7. For the buttered peas with lettuce and bay leaf: put the vinegar, wine, shallot and bay leaf into a small pan and boil until only 1 teaspoon of the liquid remains.

8. Add the mustard, lettuce and cream and bring back to the boil for about 15 seconds. Add the diced butter, little by little, and whisk in until a sauce is formed. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground white pepper, add the peas and heat gently until peas are just heated through.

9. Rest the chicken at room temperature for 10 minutes, then carve into 4 portions and serve with buttered peas with lettuce and bay leaf.

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