100g butter at room temperature
1 (about 1.5 kg) chicken
1 bouquet garni
6 sprigs flat leaf parsley
2 garlic cloves, smashed
100ml dry white wine
12 baby leeks
12 shallots, peeled whole
12 baby carrots, peeled whole
6 baby fennel, trimmed whole
12 asparagus spears, trimmed
400g fresh peas, podded
1 Cut all lemons in half. Squeeze juice from 4 lemon halves into a small bowl, reserving 2 lemon halves.
2 Use your hands to smear butter all over chicken then season generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
3 Place chicken in a large roasting tin.
4 Place reserved lemon halves, bouquet garni, parsley and garlic inside chicken cavity.
5 Place all vegetables in the roasting tin around chicken. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour lemon juice, white wine and about 100ml cold water over the vegetables.
6 Place roasting tin in a preheated oven at 230°C and roast for 10-12 minutes. Baste chicken with liquid and juices in roasting tin then turn temperature down to 190°C and roast for a further 45 minutes, basting chicken and vegetables occasionally.
7 Chicken skin should be golden brown and crisp and vegetables tender. Turn heat off and leave chicken and vegetables in oven for a further 15 minutes before carving and serving on a platter with vegetables. Transfer remaining liquid in roasting tin to a jug to pour over chicken. Serve with bread to mop up any juices.
Chicken and chablis is nice alliteration and the pairing is perfect – a crisp, tight chardonnay is the ideal wine with roast chicken. The Pt. Leo restaurant has burst on to the ‘must-visit’ list and, while a classic roast chicken is too humble a dish for Phil Wood’s sophisticated menus, as a staff meal paired with this Pt. Leo ‘house wine’ it would be a winner. Tod Dexter makes the Pt. Leo wines and the 2016 chardonnay shows his gentle hand with its savoury profile matching the chicken’s herbal notes, sufficient power to meet that of the roast vegetables and a zesty finale in tune with the lemony flavours.