Bring a the delicate flavours of France to Sunday lunch.


  • For the chicken

  • 1.8kg (3lb 16oz) free-range chicken

  • 1 lemon rolled with hand to soften and pricked all over with a fork.

  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced

  • 1 lemon, juiced

  • 1/2 bulb garlic, broken into cloves

  • 1 onion, cut into quarters

  • 1 bay leaf

  • sprig of thyme

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tbsp caster sugar

  • olive oil

  • 1 glass white wine

  • Splash of water

  • For the shallot, onion and potato mash

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 12 baby new potatoes

  • 8 shallots, cut in half

  • 1 onion, cut in half

  • sprig of thyme

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1/2 bulb garlic

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • To serve

  • steamed green beans


  • For the chicken:

  • 1.

    Pre-heat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7.

  • 2.

    In a large bowl mix together the garlic, onion, herbs, lemon juice olive oil and salt and pepper.

  • 3.

    Season the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper.

  • 4.

    Ease away the skin from the breasts of the chicken and stuff some of the onion and garlic mixture under the skin.

  • 5.

    Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the remaining mixture and the pricked lemon.

  • 6.

    Make a slit down to the bone on each of the legs then tie them together with cooks string and place on a baking tray.

  • 7.

    Season the outside of the bird generously and brush with oil.

  • 8.

    Lay the sliced lemon on top of the bird and sprinkle over the sugar.

  • 9.

    Roast the chicken in the oven for approximately 1 hour 40 minutes or until the juice run clear. Remove from oven and leave to rest for 15 minutes.

  • 10.

    Drain off any fat and juices from the pan and reserve in a jug for the mash.

  • 11.

    Place roasting pan on heat, add white wine, reduce, add water and reduce again.

  • 12.

    Add olive oil and pass, this is to be added to the potato mash.

  • For the shallot, onion and potato mash:

  • 1.

    Boil the potatoes in boiling salted water for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender.

  • 2.

    When cooked drain well and transfer to a bowl.

  • 3.

    Mash lightly.

  • 4.

    Place the shallots and onions in a baking tray with the garlic, olive oil, thyme and bay leaf and season well.

  • 5.

    Place in the oven with the chicken for the last 30 minutes of cooking time and cook until softened.

  • 6.

    Remove the shallots and onions from the oven and take off the skins.

  • 7.

    Transfer to a bowl and mash down.

  • 8.

    Combine the mashed shallots with the potatoes and mix together with a little of the reserved chicken juices to loosen.

  • To serve:

  • 1.

    Remove string; carve the chicken and place on a serving plate with a serving of shallot, onion and potato mash and some steamed green beans.

  • 2.

    Drizzle some of the reduced juices over the chicken and serve.

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