Imagine a sunny, but still cold Sunday with family and friends. What would your choice of food be for that day? Soup? Too "mid-winter". Salad? Still too cold for that. How about an easy to prepare, tasty and filling roast chicken full of flavour? That's the kind of food that is perfect for this time of the year. Not too heavy and wintery (we've been eating stews and pies since October last year), not so light that it will literally leave you cold and hankering after that warm pudding. My mum used to make this dish which I didn't actually like too much as a child. Back then, the lemon just seemed like a strange combination with the chicken. How times change, now I love it! Another great thing is that this is one of those dishes that are easy to prepare which means you don't have to spend half of your Sunday in the kitchen. Piling everything into one dish means less washing up, less messing about with various tins in the oven and therefore more fun and easier cooking. Perfect, don't you think?
Ideally, the chicken should be at room temperature, so it's advisable to take it out of the fridge around an hour before it goes into the oven.
Preheat your oven to 200C
Chop the vegetables and one of the lemons. I don't bother peeling them, just give them a quick wash.
Put all the veggies into a large roasting tin and drizzle with the olive oil.
Next, put the chicken in the middle (so it's surrounded by the veggies) of the tin.
Using a sharp knife, prick the lemon all over, this will ensure that the juices are released when cooking.
Now stuff the whole lemon into the chicken followed by the thyme.
Rub the butter onto the skin and season with salt and pepper.
Put the chicken in the oven at 200C for about 1 hour 50 minutes.
That's all there's to it. Simple, full of flavour and washing-up friendly. What more could one ask for?