Marinated chicken with lemon, garlic and thyme with seasonal vegetables.

A nicely made chicken with crispy skin and lots of sunshine flavours is just such a fulfilling dish, especially when it can all be made in one container with a minimum of fuss and mess.

Serves 4

-1 free-range chicken
-Olive Oil
-some sprigs of Thyme
-1 clove of garlic
-1 untreated lemon, washed & quatered
-2 teaspoons Agave syrup
-small potatoes (firm flesh), peeled
-1-2 red/yellow/orange pepper
-some cocktail tomatoes

Pre-set the oven at 180 degrees and prepare a large baking dish. Take the chicken and liberate it by cutting through the threads bundling it, then rub with some olive oil and salt and put it in the oven for 20-30 minutes until you can see the skin is becoming nicely crisp.

In the meantime prepare the marinade; pick the thyme leaves of the sprigs into a sufficiently large bowl, add a pressed glove of garlic, some salt and 4 tablespoons of Olive Oil.  Try and crush the thyme as you mix it all together so that you get an infused oil.  Add a teaspoon of Agave syrup (or honey) and the quatered lemons and give it all a really good mix to add a lemony touch.  Peel the potatoes and quarter, and slice the peppers, wash the cocktail tomatoes and dry.

Take out the chicken and apply the marinade all over the chicken making sure it’s covered in herbs and rubbed with the lemons, leave the lemons in the baking dish.   Then add your peeled potatoes and peppers and give it all a good turning over as they should be covered in marinade.

Turn down the heat to 160 degrees as we don’t want anything burning and let it roast for another 45 minutes, then add the tomatoes.  Leave it another 20 minutes or until the potatoes are nicely cooked.

Leave the chicken to rest for 10 minutes before carving it up and serve with the gorgeous vegetables and some of the delicious sticky juices.   The lemons are now shriveled up and not too acidic with the sweetness of the Agave, but they do masquerade perfectly as cut- up potatoes and may give a shock to one of your guests.  So you can either remove them before you serve or let your guests know to look out for them while they’re tucking in.

Enjoy this feast of Mediterranean flavour, with a glass of refreshing Provence rosé.

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