Lemon and garlic roast chicken with sweet-and-sour carrots

Savory is used a great deal in Provençal cooking and is a favourite herb of chef Anthony Demetre, who uses it to wonderful effect in this flavoursome dish
By Anthony Demetre
Lemon and garlic roast chicken with sweet-and-sour carrots
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 1 approx 2 kg whole chicken, wishbone removed, trussed
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 heads garlic, split across in half
  • 1 sprigs summer savory
  • 1 cloves
  • 1 large knob butter
  • 1 splashes olive oil

For the sweet-and-sour carrots

  • 500 g carrots, preferably young, peeled and cut into pieces if large
  • 50 g butter
  • 50 g sugar
  • 100 ml white wine vinegar
  • 1 sprigs thyme
  • 1 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 cloves garlic, crushed


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4.

2. Stuff the chicken with the lemon halves, garlic, savory, clove and salt and freshly ground black pepper. Season the outside also with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

3. Heat the butter and oil in a roasting pan. Add the chicken sideways on one leg and cook in the preheated oven for 18 minutes. Turn over on to the other leg and cook for another 18 minutes. Baste now and again (pouring the meaty juices from the pan over the meat), but not too often. Finally turn the chicken on its back and finish roasting for another 15 minutes.

4. For the sweet-and-sour carrots: lightly fry the carrots in the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat until just coloured, then add the sugar and cook, tossing, to caramelise them, for about 3-5 minutes. Add the vinegar and cook until the liquid has reduced by two-thirds. Cover with water (about 500ml), then add the thyme, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer until the carrots are just tender, about 15-20 minutes. Lift the carrots out and set aside. Boil the cooking liquor to reduce it by two-thirds and place the carrots back in the liquid when you are ready to serve.

5. Take the chicken out of the oven, baste it by pouring the juices back over the meat with a spoon, then flip it over on to its breast very carefully, without breaking the skin - this will ensure the breast stays moist by keeping the juices sitting against it. Leave to rest for 15 minutes in a warm place.

6. Lift the bird from the pan and allow all the juices to run out of it back into the pan. Add a splash of water to the pan, place over a high heat and stir up the residue on the bottom to combine all the flavours. Strain this gravy and carve the chicken. Serve the gravy alongside the carved chicken with the carrots.

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