Featured Chef Anna Helm’s Lemon & thyme roast chicken with asparagus & chickpea salad
Covering the chicken with bacon helps to keep the chicken moist, because a grassfed chicken has very little fat. It also stops the breasts from cooking faster than the legs. If you find that the bacon is getting dark at 20 minutes then lower the oven by 25 degrees. If you use a convection oven then roast at 375F.
For the chicken
a few sprigs thyme
freshly ground black pepper
2 slices smoked bacon
2 large shallots
1 garlic bulb
1 Tbsp olive oil
For the salad1/2 bunch thin asparagus
1 cup cooked chickpeas
handful of mixed greens, herbs or microgreens
PreparationHeat the oven to 425°F. Wash the chicken and dry it really well. Pull the leaves off of half of the thyme sprigs. Cut the lemon in half, cut one half into thin slices and cut the other half into thick half moon slices. Cut the slices of bacon in half- if they are really thick then use the back of a knife to gently stretch them. Peel the shallots and chop into thick wedges. Slice the garlic in half through the middle, horizontally. Cut the woody ends off of the asparagus.
MethodSprinkle the thyme leaves over the chicken breast side up. Lay the thin lemon slices down the middle of the backbone and then cover with the breasts with slices of bacon.
Heat the oil in a small roasting pan and place in the preheated oven for 1 minute. Remove from the pan and toss in the remaining lemon, shallots, garlic and a few extra sprigs of thyme. Place the chicken on top.
Roast in the oven for about 45 minutes- check and rotate after 20 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the bacon and lemon slices from the chicken breasts and reserve. Return the chicken to the oven so that the skin will crispen up.
After 45 minutes check to see that the chicken is done by piercing the thickest part of the leg. If the juices run clear, then you’re golden. You do not want to overcook the chicken or it will go dry. Whilst the chicken is resting toss the asparagus and chickpeas into the pan with the vegetables and the reserved lemon slices and cook for a further 10 minutes. Chop up the reserved bacon and toss with the pan vegetable and mixed greens of choice to serve.