This is one of the first "nice" recipes that I made when I started getting into cooking. Jamie Oliver (the Naked Chef) made this on his show one day, and I had to get the recipe. Made a few changes for us, and we both love it. I have not ever used Parma or prosciutto when I make it, and have used a regular ham instead. Also, I have skipped the potatoes and just had the chicken. Really Good! Enjoy.
- 1 (2 lb) roasting chickens, preferably organic
- 1 large lemon
- 4 slices prosciutto (can also use regular ham) or 4 slices parma ham, thinly sliced (can also use regular ham)
- 1 -2 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leave, finely chopped (no stems)
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 1⁄2 cup of softened butter
- 2 1⁄4 lbs potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
- Preheat the oven and an appropriately sized roasting pan to 425°F.
- Wash your chicken inside and out and pat dry with paper towels.
- Using your fingers, part the breast skin from the breast meat. It’s important to try to push your hand gently down the breast, being careful not to rip the skin.
- With a peeler (or a zester), remove and chop the fragrant yellow skin of the lemon, keeping the peeled lemon to one side.
- Then tear up your prosciutto (or whatever ham you choose to use) and add into a bowl with the lemon skin, garlic and thyme (I have done this in my food processor before to get the ham pieces small).
- Season with salt and pepper to taste, and then mix it all into the butter.
- Push this into the space you have made between the meat and the skin – rub and massage any that’s left over in and around the bird.
- Slash the thigh meat to allow the heat to penetrate a little more, which makes it taste better.
- Cut the peeled lemon in half and push it into the cavity.
- Then put your chicken in the hot roasting pan and roast in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
- While the chicken is cooking, parboil the potatoes in salted water for 10 minutes and drain.
- Remove the chicken from the oven, by which time the tasty butter will have melted, flavored and cooked out of the chicken into the bottom of the pan, awaiting your potatoes.
- Normally I put a fork into the cavity of the chicken and lift it out of the tray for 20 seconds while I toss and coat the vegetables in the butter.
- Put the chicken back on top of the vegetables and cook for around 30-40 minutes.
- Leave to stand for 10 minutes.