Meat

Ingredients
  • 1.75 kg (3½ lb) whole chicken
  • 100 g (3½ oz) full-fat cream cheese
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 25 g (1 oz) preserved lemon, well drained, deseeded, finely chopped
  • 25 g (1 oz) mixed fresh basil and parsley, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 675 g (1 lb 6 oz) small new potatoes, scrubbed
  • 250 g (8 oz) chantenay carrots, scrubbed
  • 125 g (4 oz) baby corn
  • 200 g (7 oz) fine asparagus, trimmed
  • 200 ml (7 fl oz) dry white wine
  • 200 ml (7 fl oz) chicken stock (see page 10)
  • salt and cayenne pepper
Directions

Remove the trussing elastic from the chicken and set aside. Insert a small sharp knife between the skin and the flesh at the top of one of the breasts, then enlarge to make a small slit. Slide a finger into the slit and gently move the finger to lift the skin away from the chicken breast and make a pocket, being careful not to tear the skin. Do the same from the base of the breast until the skin is completely loosened, then continue over the top of the leg. Repeat on the other chicken breast and leg.

Mix the cream cheese with 1 tablespoon of the oil, and add the lemon, herbs, garlic, salt and cayenne pepper. Lift small amounts of the cheese mix at a time on to a round-bladed knife and insert into the pocket beneath the chicken skin until it has all been added. Ease it into an even layer by pressing the outside of the skin.

Transfer the chicken to a roasting tin and reshape it by twisting the trussing elastic around the legs and parson's nose. Cover with oiled foil and roast in a preheated oven, 190°C (375°F), Gas Mark 5, for 50 minutes. Baste the chicken with the pan juices, then re-cover. Add the potatoes, carrots and remaining oil (but do not cover these with foil) and roast for 30 minutes, turning once. Remove the foil from the chicken, baste and add the corn and asparagus. Roast for 10 minutes until the asparagus is just tender and the chicken cooked when tested (see page 11).

Transfer to a serving plate, add the wine and stock to the roasting tin and bring to the boil on the hob, scraping up the residue in the tin and seasoning to taste. Strain into a jug and serve with the chicken.

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