Every year Mum and I collect all the excess lemons from her tree and preserve them. It’s such an easy thing to do for anyone – like us – who struggles to make use of all the beautiful fruit your tree produces. All you need is salt and lemons, the process takes around 4-6 weeks and the results are divine…
Preserved lemon is hugely popular in South Asian and North African cuisine. It’s the hero in many Moroccan meals, particularly tagines and couscous based dishes. It has a lovely salty, mildly tart and lemony flavour and I just love cooking with it.
And throughout the winter months there’s no better time to experiment with this uniquely flavoured condiment, particularly when it comes to a home roasted chook!
This preserved lemon and thyme butter is so easy to whip together and will result in the most succulent and moreish meat. It’s one of those dishes that requires minimal thought and gives the illusion you’ve spent far more time in the kitchen than you actually have…
This roast chook with preserved lemon and thyme butter is the perfect companion on a wintry Sunday night with a glass of Chardonnay!
- 1 x free range whole chicken
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 3 x quarters of preserved lemon, dice finely
- 4 x tbsp freshly chopped thyme or 1.5 tbsp dried thyme
- ⅓ cup pear cider vinegar
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- I served my roast chook with blanched broccolini, roasted sweet potato and beetroot! All beautiful vegetables that add colour to your meal!
- Remove your chook from the fridge 20-30 minutes before you want to cook it, this will slowly bring it to room temperature
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius
- Soften butter, combine with preserved lemon and thyme. If you have access to a food processor, simply blend ingredients briefly
- Place chicken into a roasting dish and gently lift the skin away from the flesh using your hands. Do this across the entire chicken
- Using your fingers, gently push the butter beneath the skin. Make sure the entire chicken is covered!
- Rub a generous drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper into the skin before placing the dish into the oven and roasting for one hour
- After one hour has elapsed, baste chicken with the pear cider vinegar before returning it to the oven for another 15 minutes.
- Once cooked, remove chicken from the oven, baste and transfer to a board, cover with foil and a tea towel and leave to rest for 15 minutes
- Carve and serve with your favourite seasonal veggies