Roast Crown of Chicken with Pea and Nettle à la Française

Creamy slow-cooked peas and nettles make an amazing accompaniment to garlicky roast chicken in this hard-to-resist recipe from Martin Blunos
By Martin Blunos
Roast Crown of Chicken with Pea and Nettle à la Française
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 50 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the chicken

  • 1 organic chicken crown, skin on
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 25 g unsalted butter
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • small bunch thyme
  • 1 lemon
  • 100 ml double cream
  • freshly ground salt and black pepper
  • boiled new potatoes, to serve

For the pea and nettle à la française

  • 250 ml chicken stock
  • 150 ml white wine
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 50 g nettles
  • 12 small shallots, (or substitute pickling onions)
  • 150 g shelledfresh peas


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Remove the wishbone from the chicken crown.

2. Heat a roasting tin over a medium heat and add the oil and butter.

3. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add the chicken to the roasting tin. Cook for several minutes, on all sides, until golden brown.

4. Add the garlic cloves, half of the thyme and half of the lemon.

5. Transfer to the oven and roast for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is tender. Remove from the oven, cover loosely with foil and rest.

6. For the peas, heat the stock and wine together in a saucepan.

7. Crush the remaining garlic clove to a paste and add to the pan. Stir in the remaining thyme.

8. Peel the shallots, leaving the root ends intact. Add them to the pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes or so, until the shallots are tender.

9. Remove the thyme stalks. Add the peas and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes or so, until the peas are tender. Add the cream.

10. Bring to boil and adjust the seasoning as necessary with salt and pepper and lemon juice from the remaining half lemon.

11. Meanwhile, blanch the nettle leaves for 1 minute in boiling salted water. Drain and shred them finely. Stir them into the pea mixture.

12. Crush the potatoes lightly with the back of a large spoon.

13. Remove the chicken crown from the roasting tray and set on a board to carve.

14. Reheat the roasting tray over a medium heat and remove the lemon and thyme stalks.

15. Add the potatoes to the tray and heat through in the roasting juices with the garlic cloves. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

16. Carve the chicken and serve in slices, with the crushed new potatoes and the pea and à la française.

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