Roast chicken with Ed, George, Vince & Alistair

Dinner with Ed and the three possible chancellors. Roast chicken with lemon & thyme (Hopkinson, of course), braised fennel and carrots, the latter with garlic and Marsala. Great.

(Fyi: Ed, Vince and Alistair were delightful, intelligent company; Osborne, the smarmy sod, was way out of his depth.)

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Roast chicken with braised fennel & carrots

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There’s only one way to do roast chicken, and this is it. You will need:

One free range chicken, 1.8kg
110g butter at room temp
A lemon
Some sprigs of  thyme
A garlic clove

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Heat the oven to 230 degrees. Smear the butter over the chicken (there’s so much it’ll be like a little golden jacket). Season – a lot. Squeeze the juice of the lemon over the bird, then stuff the husks inside it, alongside the thyme sprigs and the garlic clove, crushed. Blast at 230 for 15 mins, then baste and turn down to 190. Cook for a further 45 mins, basting occasionally. Turn the oven off, and rest with the door ajar for 15 mins before serving.

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Braised fennel

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Quarter the fennel (one per person) and simmer until tender, maybe 12 mins. Drain the saucepan, add butter to it (perhaps 25g each) and turn down the heat. Sweat for half an hour, turning at 10 min intervals, so the fennel is golden on each side.

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Braised young carrots

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Finely chop a garlic clove and heat in a pan with a good chunk of butter. Once the foam has subsided, throw in the carrots and colour slightly. Add a splosh of Madeira or Marsala, boil and reduce by two thirds, then add the same amount of water and simmer until the carrots are tender.

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