Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken and Couscous

Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken and Couscous

Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken and Couscous

Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken and Couscous

Roast Chicken!
I know, we all know how to roast a chicken and if we don’t we can always pop out and get one from the rotisserie at the supermarket.
But, this recipe, with the addition of lemon and thyme gives a roast chicken another dimension.

The key to this dish is the way in which it is roasted – in a bag.
I, like many other chefs, hate washing up. We do it but we tolerate it and generally we don’t do the best job or so my husband says anyway.
So, I’m not afraid to say that when roasting chickens I often use roasting bags.

Roasting bags can be found at most supermarkets and are simple, single use and easy to use. They keep all the juices, splatters and spills inside the bag and not all over the oven for me to clean at a later date.
The use of a roasting bag, in short, means that all the yumminess is kept in contact with your meat in one place enabling you to use it again.
For this dish I use the juices to make couscous.

Try to keep the bag away from the skin as it may stick during cooking

Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken and Couscous
Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken and Couscous

1 whole roasting Chicken – approx. 1.5kg
1 Lemon
1 small bunch fresh Thyme
75g unsalted butter - softened
¼ tsp cracked Black Pepper
½ tsp course Sea Salt

225g dry Couscous

The Mix: 

Finely grate zest of lemon and place in a bowl
Squeeze lemon and move to one side along with the rest of the lemon
Pick leaves off thyme and place in bowl with lemon zest
Place stalks with juice and lemons
Add softened butter to thyme leaves and zest along with cracked black pepper and salt. Mix until combined

Chicken - Using your finger, gently prise away the skin from the breast, creating a bit of a pocket
Place a good chunk of butter in between breast and skin and use your hand to push into place and flatten from the outside
Using a sharp knife score the legs 2 or 3 times and press the remaining butter onto them
Place left over lemons, stalks and lemon juice inside the chicken carcass
Gently place the bird into the plastic bag and tie at one end (see photo)

Pay attention to the bag making sure that it does not touch the breast of the bird as it may stick to the skin
Make sure you leave enough room for the bag to expand - don't pull it too tight
Place bird into a roasting tray, tucking in any edges but all the time leaving enough room for the bag to expand

Roast the chicken in a preheated oven for approximately 1½ hours at 180°c fan assist
*please note that this is just a guide and cooking times can vary according to your oven

Once the chicken is cooked, open the bag and using tongs or a carving fork take out of bag, cover and allow to rest in a warm place
Place cooking juices in a saucepan, bring to the boil then pour into a measuring jug and add boiling water until you have 300ml in total
Place couscous into a large bowl and add the boiling liquid
Give a quick stir then cover with a plate and leave for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes fluff with a fork and taste for seasoning – adjust if you need to with salt and pepper.

Then you’re good to go.
Serve the lemony couscous and roast chicken with fresh spinach or salad leaves for a delish dinner.
I chopped and mixed spinach into the couscous before adding the liquid

Drink This: 

Check out this little number, it's a blend of Chardonnay, Grenache Blanc and Vermentino called Côté mas Blanc

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