Lemon Roast Chicken with Rustic Mash

Jean-Christophe Novelli's juicy chicken is cooked with fragrant lemon, herbs and cloves and served with appetising mashed potatoes
By Jean-Christophe Novelli
Lemon Roast Chicken with Rustic Mash
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 1x1.5 kg chicken
  • 2 lemons, sliced
  • 1 large onion, halved
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil

For the juices

  • 100 ml white wine
  • 100 ml water

For the potatoes

  • 1.5 kg Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and quartered

To serve

  • 4 sprigs watercress


1. Preheat the oven to 220C/gas 7.

2. Using a knife, open the chicken leg joints by inserting knife into the joint where the leg meets the body. This will ensure the legs cook at the same time as the breast.

3. Loosen the skin around the chicken breast and insert 3 or 4 lemon slices under the skin on each breast, followed by the bay leaves and cloves.

4. Insert 1 onion half under the skin and the other half in the cavity.

5. Truss the chicken with string.

6. Heat the olive oil in a pan until very hot and quickly cook the chicken on each side for a few seconds. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

7. Place the chicken in a roasting tin, breast side up and roast for 1 hour, turning over half way through the cooking time.

8. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes in a warm place.

9. Meanwhile, pour off the excess oil from the roasting tin and place the tin over a high heat and bring to the boil. Cook for a few minutes to reduce the juices.

10. Add the white wine, season with salt and pepper and cook until reduced.

11. Add the water and continue cooking until reduced. Reserve these juices for the mashed potatoes.

12. To cook the potatoes: place the quartered potatoes in a pan and cover with cold water.

13. Add a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes until tender.

14. Drain the potatoes and mash with the roasting pan juices. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

15. To serve: remove the string from the chicken. Carve the breast meat and legs and serve with the mashed potatoes. Garnish with watercress.

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