Honey, Vanilla, and Thyme Roasted Chicken

READY IN: 2hrs




  • Pre-heat oven to gas mark 6/400F/200°C.
  • Pick the thyme leaves off and discard the stalks and finely chop the leaves.
  • In a bowl, put the knob of butter and add half of the chopped thyme and the grated garlic and give it all a good mix.
  • Lift the skin of the chicken with your fingers and push the herbed butter underneath the skin (you need to be very gentle as to not tear the skin).
  • Season the chicken well inside and out.
  • Slightly warm the honey in another bowl.
  • Split the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape the inside with the back of a knife and mix into the warmed honey.
  • Add the remaining chopped thyme into the honey mixture.
  • Place the chicken into a roasting tray and pour the honey mixture all over the chicken and pour 100ml of chicken stock into the tray.
  • For the roast vegetables, peel the swede, parsnips and carrots and cut into equal sized chunks.
  • Peel the onion and cut into wedges.
  • Pick the rosemary leaves and roughly chop them.
  • Toss all the vegetables in a little oil, add in the rosemary and season it well and place them in another roasting tray.
  • Cook the chicken in the centre shelf and the vegetables in the bottom shelf.
  • The vegetables will take about 30-35 minutes to cook (but the tray needs to be shaken and vegetables turned over every 15 minutes but be careful not to break them).
  • The chicken will take about 1 hour to cook, basting it with the juices every 15 minutes as well.
  • Meanwhile, to make the mash, peel the potatoes and chop them into large chunks and boil them in seasoned water until soft.
  • Mash the potatoes and add the butter and season it well.
  • Pass it through a sieve to get rid of any lumps and cover to keep warm.
  • Once the chicken is ready, remove from the tray and transfer onto a serving dish. Cover the chicken with foil and let it rest for 20 minutes.
  • Using a spoon, skim off the excess fat from the juices in the roasting tin and then add the remaining stock to the tray, scrape and mix with the juices.
  • Pour the juices into a saucepan and bring it to boil for about 5 minutes.
  • Whip the cream lightly.
  • Add 2tbsp of the whipped cream into gravy in the saucepan and when it has warmed through remove from heat.
  • Strain the gravy into a serving jug.
  • Add the remaining cream to the mashed potatoes and mix in thoroughly. Re-heat if necessary in a pan or in the microwave.
  • Transfer the roast vegetables into a serving dish.
  • Serve all together and carve at the table.