Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Butter-roasted saffron chicken

This is from Annie Bell's 'The Country Cook' which has loads more delicious recipes in it. You can find it by clicking the link on the left - it's definitely worth investing in!

I doubled the quantities as I needed to feed 5 hungry adults and the supermarket had no big chickens, but I'm giving you Ms. Bell's original recipe. Gorgeous moist chicken meat, just lovely!

Serves 6 (according to the book, 4 according to me!)


A good pinch of ground saffron
1 tbsp thyme leaves
Sea salt
75g unsalted butter, softened
1x2kg chicken
Juice of 1 lemon
Cayenne pepper


  1. Preheat your oven to 220C/420F/Gas Mark 7.
  2. Blend the ground saffron, thyme and a little salt with 50g of the butter. Starting at the neck end of the chicken, slip your fingers beneath the skin to loosen it either side of the breastbone. Spread the butter mix over the breast meat and pat the skin back into place.
  3. Place the chicken in a roasting dish and spread with the remaining butter, pour over the lemon juice, season with salt and dust with the cayenne pepper.
  4. Roast for about an hour, without basting, then transfer it to a plate, tipping any juices inside the chicken back into the roasting tray.
  5. Pour the roasting juices into a bowl or jug and leave the chicken rest for 20 minutes.
  6. Serve hot or cold, with the buttery juices spooned over for those who like them (I didn't do this, go here to see why!)

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