Roast chicken with cauliflower cheese

Combine comfort food with romance in this classic chicken served with rich cauliflower
By Paul Merrett
Roast chicken with cauliflower cheese
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the chicken

  • 1 small chicken or a guinea fowl
  • 1/2 head garlic
  • 50 g unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 1/4 lemons
  • sprig thyme
  • sprig tarragon

For the cauliflower cheese

  • 25 g butter
  • 25 g flour
  • 300 ml milk
  • 90 g cheddar cheese, grated
  • small pinch smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp English mustard
  • 1/2 cauliflower, cut into large florets, leaves too
  • 3 plum tomatoes, sliced
  • 4 slices pre-grilled pancetta, sliced
  • 8 button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 tbsp butter

To serve

  • freshly grated parmesan
  • crispy baguettes


1. For the roast chicken: Pre-heat the oven to 220C fan/gas 7. Cut the head of garlic in half, pop out a couple of cloves, slice thinly, and make incisions all over chicken. Stud with the sliced garlic.

2. Put the remaining garlic inside the chicken cavity. Smear the butter over the chicken and squeeze the lemon on top pop the remaining lemon into the cavity with the thyme and tarragon. Sprinkle a good pinch of salt on top of the chicken.

3. Place the chicken in the oven for 10 minutes. Baste with the juices and turn the oven down to 180C/gas 4 and roast for a further 50 minutes, basting occasionally.

4. For the cauliflower cheese: put the butter and flour in a saucepan, then stir together over a low heat until combined. Cook the flour mixture for a couple of minutes, stirring all the time.

5. Slowly add most of the milk, stirring all the time, over a medium heat until thick. Add the cheese and season with smoked paprika and English mustard.

6. Sauté mushrooms in butter and olive oil until soft and set aside

7. Cook the cauliflower in boiling, salted water for 6-8 minutes until tender. Mix the cauliflower into the sauce and put into a wide shallow baking dish. Top with slices of plum tomato, pancetta and sautéed mushrooms.

8. Sprinkle with parmesan and bake alongside the chicken until golden for 15 minutes.

9. Leave the chicken to rest for 10 minutes, retaining any leftover juices to use as gravy. Serve with cauliflower cheese and a fresh, crispy white baguette.

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