Roast chicken with anchovy butter

Roast chicken with anchovy butter

By
From
How I cook
Serves
6
Photographer
Jason Lowe

I grew up on roast chicken – always with mashed potatoes and green beans. My mother didn’t do roast potatoes, and neither do I. This is how I like to serve roast chicken in the summer – the flavoured butter complements the sweetcorn accompaniment as well as the chicken. In the winter, I often roast pumpkin with red onions and sweet potatoes or fennel slices to serve instead. It’s worth spending the extra on a good-quality chicken – free-range, organic and not too huge.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 organic free-range chicken, about 2kg
sea salt
extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle

Anchovy and herb butter

Quantity Ingredient
12 good-quality tinned anchovies or from a jar (ortiz, for example)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 dried red chilli, crumbled, with seeds
1 tender rosemary stem, leaves only, finely chopped
1 lemon, finely grated zest
200g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
see method for ingredients, to serve, (optional)
see method for ingredients, to serve, (optional)
new potatoes, to serve, (optional)

Method

  1. Season the chicken generously with salt inside and out – do this the night before if possible as it helps to tenderise the meat and season it right through. Wrap loosely and leave in the fridge overnight.
  2. Take the chicken out the fridge 2 hours before putting it into the oven. Cut off the wing tips and neck, and tuck the neck flap of skin under the bird.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Rub the chicken all over with olive oil. Place in a roasting tin large enough to hold it comfortably, laying the bird on one side. Roast on the middle shelf of the oven for 30 minutes, then turn the bird onto its other side and roast for a further 30 minutes. Finally turn the chicken on its back and roast for a final 20 minutes, or until cooked through. To test, pierce the thickest part of the thigh with a skewer – the juices should run clear. Turn off the oven and leave the chicken inside with the door slightly ajar to let it rest for at least 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, for the butter, put the anchovies, garlic, chilli, rosemary and lemon zest into a small saucepan over a low heat and stir gently until the anchovies begin to disintegrate. Now add the butter, a couple of cubes at a time, stirring as you do so, until it is all incorporated. This sauce should be made just before you are ready to eat, otherwise it is likely to split.
  5. Transfer the chicken to a warm platter and spoon over some of the warm butter; pour the rest into a jug. Serve at once, with the accompaniments.

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