Main Meals

Gordon Ramsay’s herb-buttered chicken with citrus breadcrumbs

1 hour
1 hour 40 minutes
Wine/Spirit Pairing
Creation Chardonnay 2015

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  • For the herb butter:
  • Italian parsley a small bunch, chopped
  • Tarragon a small bunch, chopped
  • 1 T thyme leaves
  • 250 g butter, at room temperature
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 x 2.5 kg free-range chicken
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 large onion, halved
  • 1⁄2 orange
  • 1 garlic (unpeeled) head, halved horizontally
  • Bay leaves a few
  • Thyme a few sprigs
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • For the citrus breadcrumbs:
  • 1⁄2 day-old white bread loaf (about 300 g), crusts removed
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil, for cooking
  • 50 g pancetta chopped
  • 1⁄2 onion, finely diced
  • Thyme a few sprigs
  • 200 g pine nuts
  • 150 g butter, cubed
  • Lemon juice a squeeze

First make the herb butter by mixing the herbs into the soft butter with plenty of seasoning. Spoon the flavoured butter into a piping bag fitted with a basic piping nozzle.

Working from the neck end of the chicken, use the fingers of one hand to loosen the skin over the breasts, without tearing the skin. On each side of the breastbone, move your hand towards the lower side of the breast and on to the thighs, to separate the skin from the flesh. You want to create a large pocket for the herb butter on both sides of the breastbone. Pipe the butter into the pockets, over the breasts and thighs. Gently massage the herb butter over the flesh to spread evenly.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Season the cavity of the chicken, then stuff with the onion, orange, garlic, bay leaves and thyme. Tuck the legs under the neck skin to secure in place, or tie with kitchen string. Place the chicken, breast side up, in a large roasting tray. Drizzle over a little olive oil and season well.

Roast for 10–15 minutes until the skin is crisp and golden, then reduce the oven’s temperature to 160°C and roast for a further 25 minutes per kilogram, basting occasionally until cooked. To test if the chicken is cooked, insert a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh: the juices that run out should be clear, not at all pink.

While the chicken is roasting, make the breadcrumbs. Tear up the bread roughly and blitz to coarse crumbs in a food processor. Add the orange and lemon zests and season well. Pulse a few times to mix, then set aside. Heat a little olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the pancetta for 1 minute. Toss in the onion, thyme and pine nuts and cook for 3–4 minutes. Add the butter around the edge of the pan. Allow the butter to melt and foam and then turn a golden brown then add the breadcrumbs. Mix well and cook, tossing frequently, for 5 minutes or until the crumbs are golden. Squeeze over a little lemon juice, discard the thyme stalks and adjust the seasoning. Keep warm.

When the chicken is done, remove it from the oven, cover with foil and leave to rest for at least 15 minutes before carving the breast and cutting up the thighs and legs. Strain the juices through a fine sieve and drizzle over the chicken. Serve with the citrus breadcrumbs.

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Gordon Ramsay

Recipe by: Gordon Ramsay

Gordon Ramsay is a celebrity chef, restaurateur, writer and television personality. His popular TV shows include Hell's Kitchen, The F Word, and Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares.

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