Roasted Lemon Chicken with Bread Sauce
- 1 large free range chicken (1.3kg/3lb)
- 1 large lemon
- 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 75g/ 3oz/¾ stick butter
- 1 whole bulb of garlic
- 450ml/15fl oz/scant 2 cups milk
- 1 small onion
- 4 cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 110g/4oz/2 cups fresh white breadcrumbs
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 50g/ 2oz/½ stick butter
- 4 teaspoons of cream
Leave your butter at room temperature for up to an hour to soften slightly
Finely grate the zest of the lemon.
Chop the thyme and add into the butter together with the lemon zest.
Loosen the skin from around the chicken and with your hands manipulate some of the lemon butter under the skin (directly onto the flesh) and gently massage this into the breasts. This will make the chicken nicely fragrant. Return the skin to its original shape.
The remainder of the whole lemon can be pushed into the cavity of the chicken with one or two sprigs of thyme and an entire bulb of garlic. This in turn will add further flavour.
Transfer the chicken to a roasting tray and bake in the oven at 170C/325F/Gas Mark 3 for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Allow to rest outside of the oven for a further 10-15 minutes.
Peel the onion and stud the cloves into the onion.
In a large saucepan place the studded onion and the bay leaves.
Pour the milk over these items and bring gently to the boil.
When the milk has come to the boil remove the studded onion and bay leaves.
Sprinkle in the breadcrumbs and allow to cook on a very gentle heat for 8-10 minutes.
At this stage, stir in the nutmeg, butter and cream which will flavour and enrich the sauce even further.
Allow to cook for another 5-10 minutes and then transfer to a sauceboat.