roast chicken with wild garlic

can't believe i paid a pound, a shiny english pound, for some wild garlic leaves that i could have foraged from the side of the road somewhere. ah the joys of farmers' markets.

but how could i resist? it's sunday, the sun is shining, it's orthodox easter (check out my mum's traditionally-dyed eggs in the pic below, she does it by boiling them in onion skins which colour the shell red), and there's a picture of nigel slater's roast chicken stuffed with wild garlic in the observer magazine.
you can't beat a roast chicken and, having read this, i wasn't going to be shy with the butter.

the recipe is basically nigel slater's. we have roast shallots and wilted spinach with it, with loads of gravy.

for, errrr, two?

1 happy chicken (i don't care if that makes me a food snob but not eating non-free range), around 1.5kg
1 bunch of wild garlic
1/2 lemon
1 head of garlic
salt and pepper
50-60g butter
a little olive oil
2 small glasses white wine or stock

preheat the oven to 200C. place the chicken in a roasting tin, stuff the cavity with the wild garlic leaves and the lemon half. place half of the butter, cubed, inside the chicken as well. spread the rest of the butter all over the chicken. season. take the cloves out of the head of garlic (unpeeled) and just squash them with a knife a little. scatter around the chicken in a roasting tin.

turn the chicken so it's lying on the breast side and roast for 30 mins. then turn the right way around and cook for another hour, depending on size (normally 20mins per 500g, plus another half an hour).

when cooked (the juices should run clear when you pierce the thickest part), take the chicken out and leave it to rest for 10 minutes under some foil. pour away most of the fat from the roasting in, then put on high heat on the hob. add the stock or wine and let it bubble, scraping away any nice, stuck-on bits in the pan. let the gravy reduce a little. check for seasoning.

we end up eating the wild garlic stuffing with the chicken - it tastes like perfumed, garlicky spinach.


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