I usually cook it with potatoes and make the butter mixture in a bowl for faster cleanup.
5 tbsp/70 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tbsp thyme leaves or 1 tbsp dried
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 small preserved lemon, seeds discarded, flesh and skin finely chopped (2 1/2 tbsp)
1 lemon – finely zest to get 1 tsp, then juiced to get 1 1/2 tbsp
Salt and black pepper
1 whole chicken (3 1/3 lb/1.5 kg)
Potatoes – Optional – cut in 1″/2.5 cm pieces – enough to fill the space around the chicken
- Preheat the oven to 400°F
- Rinse the chicken with cold water, removing kidneys and organs. Pat dry.
- Place the softened butter, thyme, garlic, preserved lemon, lemon zest, 1/4 tsp salt and a generous grind of pepper in a bowl. Mix to combine.
- With the chicken’s leg pointing toward you, use your hands to loosen the skin away from the breasts and spread most of the butter mixture evenly under the skin and over the breasts. Spread the rest of the butter over the legs.
- Place the chicken in a dutch oven. A 6 3/4 qt/6.2 qt dutch oven works well. Drizzle with lemon juice, and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper. Place the potatoes around the chicken. Roast for about 70 minutes, basting every 20 minutes until the skin is golden brown and crisp and the juices run clear when the meat is pierced with a small knife.
- Remove from the oven. Rest for 10 minutes before serving.
- If the potatoes aren’t quite cooked, leave them in the oven while the chicken is resting.
Source: Ottolenghi Simple, by Yotam Ottolenghi,