Recipe: Roast Chicken, Chips and Salad with Homemade Mayo

The first time I met my boyfriend’s sister we were invited over for lunch and she and her husband served a lovely roast chicken, a big salad, a large bowl of chips and lots of condiments. It was so effortless but so delicious and that was definitely my inspiration here!

This was actually our supper on Valentine’s Day as it fell on a Monday this year, and I knew I would be tired after a busy work day. But I thought an easy roast chicken, chips and a nice salad was the perfect balance of delicious but low effort in the kitchen. Especially since we had a starter and pudding too, although also of the effortless variety. But I did make a batch of homemade mayonnaise to go with it, because homemade mayonnaise and any storebought variety (even Hellmann’s which I love!) are miles apart. The homemade version is a lot runnier, silkier and doesn’t have that eggy smell to it. I was absolutely inspired by a recent dinner at Bibendum Oyster Bar where I had the Pierre Koffmann fries (they were excellent!!) and homemade mayonnaise and it was definitely the only time I have received a bowl of good mayonnaise to go with my chips in a restaurant. It was so so good and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since. Granted, Sainsbury’s oven chips where not even half as nice as the Pierre Koffmann fries, but it was still delicious!

Although I often make skin-on oven fries, I sometimes cook chips or fries straight from the freezer and with the addition of some extra oil and a longer cooking time, they come out super crispy and nice. And it saves me cutting a lot of potatoes. I also don’t have a fryer so I’m not even remotely aiming for the perfect fries until I have one in my possession.

The chicken (a small one, I find them juicier) I spatchcocked before cooking, as it both cuts down on cooking time, but it also makes it easier to carve afterwards and gives you a bit more control while cooking as it’s easier to cook it evenly. Before cooking I smothered it with a homemade (very easy to throw together) herb butter and seasoned it well.

Roast chicken, chips and salad with homemade mayonnaise, serves 2

1 small chicken, spatchcocked and trimmed (I cut off excess skin and fat), rinsed and patted dry

50 g softened butter

lemon zest from half a lemon

2 tsp of chopped herbs such as parsley, thyme and rosemary (dried works too)

salt and pepper

2 servings frozen readymade fries

1-2 tbsp mild olive oil

salt and pepper

Mayonnaise:

1 egg yolk, at room temperature

1/2 tsp white wine vinegar

1/2 tsp dijon mustard

125-175 ml neutral oil (such as sunflower, groundnut, warm-pressed rapeseed oil or vegetable oil)

1/2 lemon, juice only

table salt and pepper

Serve with:

a nice green salad

Pre-heat the oven to 200C. Mix the herbs, lemon zest and salt and pepper with the butter in a small bowl.

Place the chicken on a cutting board and make incisions in the skin at the top of the breasts with a small knife. Run your finger underneath the skin to create a pocket over the breasts. Fill these pockets with some of the herb butter, patting it down so it’s flat and covers the breasts. Make small incisions on each leg and cover with butter. Smother the rest of the butter all over the chicken with your hands. Wash hands and season well. Roast the chicken until golden brown and juices runs clear. The cooking time depends on the size of your chicken and your oven, but somewhere between 30-50 minutes.

Add the fries to a roasting tin. Drizzle with oil and season. Stir well with a spoon or spatula so that the fries are evenly coated with oil. Cook at the same time as the chicken until golden brown and crispy. They will cook faster than the chicken, 15-20 minutes, so either put them in later or take them out when ready and re-heat before serving.

Either make the mayonnaise beforehand and cover it or make it while the chicken is roasting. Add the egg yolk, vinegar and mustard to a mixing bowl. Beat to combine with a whisk. Slowly slowly add the oil drop by drop to start with while whisking. Once the sauce is getting thicker, add the oil in a steady trickle instead, while whisking continuously. Add a little lemon juice to loosen if it feels too thick. Season with table salt and pepper and the lemon until you have a delicious mayonnaise.

Once cooked let the chicken rest for 5 minutes on a warm (not hot plate) and a piece of tin foil loosely covering it. (You want the steam to be able to escape so that the chicken skin stays crispy). Don’t wrap the chicken, approach it more like a roof.

Cut the chicken into smaller pieces and serve with the fries, homemade mayonnaise and salad.

Roast chicken with smoked salt and garlic, white wine sauce and butternut squash with feta and pine nuts

Last week we had the Sunday roast on the Saturday, which worked really well actually. I served it with a creamy sauce instead of gravy to make it worthy of a Saturday night supper, and it worked!

I also tried some smoked salt I bought a while ago from Halen Môn. I have been dying to try it and thought chicken was the perfect place to start. To make it adhere better to the chicken I crushed the salt flakes in my pestle and mortar first.

Apart from the smoked salt I only used butter, garlic and white pepper to season the chicken. It tasted lovely and came out very moist, but if you want a more distinct smoked taste you need to add more salt.

I also put some potato chunks and red onion in the roasting tray with the chicken so they could soak up the meat juices and taste all lovely. Roasted butternut squash with feta cheese and pine nuts as well as green beans was the perfect addition.

And then the sauce. It was a creamy concoction with white wine and a dash of balsamic vinegar and it was excellent with chicken. I will definitely make it again. Soon even.

Roast chicken with smoked salt and garlic, serves 4

1 medium chicken

3 tbsp butter

3 tsp smoked salt, crushed

white pepper

3 jacket potato sized potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

1/2 red onion, cut into wedges

Rinse the chicken and trim it if needed. Make a cut in the skin above each breasts. Stick your finger into the whole and create a pocket between the skin and the meat. Make two slashes on each thigh with a knife. Mix the butter with garlic and fill the breast pockets with this mixture. Smear it onto the thighs and rub what is left onto the whole chicken. Season with smoked salt and white pepper all around the bird. Place in a roasting tray with the potatoes and onions. Roast for 45-60 minutes in 200C or until the chicken is cooked through (clear meat juices by the thigh joint) and the potatoes are done. Leave to rest for 10 mins covered in foil before serving. Sprinkle on some more smoked salt when carved.

Roasted butternut squash with feta and pine nuts, serves 4

1/2 butternut squash

3 tbsp crumbled feta

1 tbsp pine nuts, toasted if you prefer

Remove the pips and cut off the ends of the squash. Cut into chunks and place in a small roasting tray. Sprinkle with feta and pine nuts, salt and pepper. Roast in 200C for 20-25 mins.

White wine sauce with chicken, serves 2

100 ml white wine

2 tsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp concentrated chicken stock

100 ml cream

1 tsl mild chilisås

salt and pepper

Pour all the ingredients into a sauce pan. Bring to the boil and heat up. Adjust the stock and seasoning.

Roast chicken with lemon and za’atar with potato salad

Loving the weather right now! Here in London it has been around 20C for a while now, and the sun is shining every day, although battling the clouds from time to time. And this weather just calls for lighter food, don’t you think? On Sunday I did a different take on the Sunday roast with a whole roast chicken, flavoured with za’atar, sumac and lemon served with a classic French potato salad and a side salad. Easy peasy and sooo good! Try this at home, folks.

Roast chicken with lemon and za’atar with potato salad, serves 2

1 medium chicken

30 g softened butter

1 tbsp za’atar

1 tsp sumac

1/2 citron

salt, black pepper

400 g new potatoes

150 ml creme fraiche

2 tbsp mayonnaise

2 tsp dijon mustard

salt, white pepper

chives

Heat the oven to 200C. Rinse the chicken and place in a roasting tray. Mix butter with spices and the zest from the lemon. Make a cut i the skin on each breast, and place most of the butter there. Smooth it out underneath the skin so it covers most of the breasts. Brush the bird with the remaining butter. Add some more salt and pepper. Place the lemon in the cavity. Place in oven for about an hour. It is done when the meat juices are clear from the thigh joint. Leave to rest a little before serving.

Boil the potatoes, leave to cool. Dice. Mix creme fraiche, mayonnaise, mustard and seasoning. Add the potatoes. Cut the chives with scissors and add to the salad before serving. Stir to combine.