This succulent lemon chicken balances perfectly with the sweetness of the parsnip puree. It's a marriage made in heaven, and a great alternative to roast chicken and potato mash.
- 1.5 kg whole free-range chicken
- 2 lemons, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 bunch lemon thyme
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup good quality chicken stock
- steamed green beans, to serve
- 750 g (approximately 6 large) parsnips, peeled
- 30 g butter
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 2 cups good quality chicken stock
- white pepper, to taste
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat the oven to 200˚C (400˚F). Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towel. Fill the cavity of the chicken with the lemon slices, garlic and ½ bunch of thyme sprigs. Tie the chicken legs together to keep the lemon slices, garlic and thyme in place.
Place the chicken in a roasting pan and rub the skin with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over remaining thyme sprigs and bake in the oven for 1 hour, or until the skin is golden and the juices run clear when tested. Remove the chicken from the oven and place onto a warm platter. Loosely cover with foil and leave to rest in a warm place until ready to serve.
Place the pan and pan juices over a medium heat, deglaze the pan with stock and reduce to a simmer. Simmer until glossy and syrupy, approximately ¼ cup.
Meanwhile, to make the parsnip puree, cut the parsnips into quarters lengthways, removing the woody core, as it makes the puree stringy. Roughly chop the parsnip into chunks and set aside.
Heat butter in a large saucepan until bubbling, add the onion and garlic and sauté until onion is softened but not browned. Add the parsnip chunks and sauté for a further 5 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer 15 minutes, remove the lid and simmer for a further 15–20 minutes or until most of the stock has evaporated.
Blend the parsnip with the remaining stock from the pot until smooth. If you would like the puree a little thinner, adjust with a little extra stock or cream. Season to taste.
Serve the chicken with the pan juices, parsnip puree and steamed green beans.
Photography by Petrina Tinslay, styling by David Morgan and art direction by Anne Marie Cummins.