Garlic butter roast chicken stuffed with chilli chickpeas and patatas aioli

I LOVE A good roast, who doesn't? The thought of having people around and everyone getting stuck in fills me with joy.  The meat has to be the centre piece for me and crispy potatoes are a must.

It's so important not to overcook your chicken, yet so many people do it.  *NEWSFLASH* IT DOESN'T TAKE HOURS TO COOK A BIRD - 45 mins is more than enough for a medium-sized bird.  Remember, it will continue cooking when removed from the oven and resting the bird is crucial.   The beauty of cooking poultry this way is that the butter underneath the skin will gently baste the bird and protect it, giving the leg and thigh meat time to cook through.

Ingredients (serves 2):
1x free range chicken
2x cloves garlic
Handful parsley, chopped
50g butter

1x tin of  organic chickpeas (400g), drained
1x red chilli, finely chopped
1x lemon, zested and cut in half
Maris Piper potatoes,  cut into 2cm cubes

2x heads of garlic
150 ml mayonnaise 

1x avocado, sliced
2x ripe plum tomatoes, diced
1x gem lettuce, sliced
Sea salt
Olive oil


1) Pre-heat oven to 180C. Grate the garlic with a fine grater. Add to the butter with the parsley and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Mash together with your hands. 

2) Mixed the chickpeas with the chilli, lemon zest, juice of one-half of the lemon and parsley. Season. Stuff the other half lemon into cavity.

3) Remove the wishbone from the chicken.  Stuff the cavity with the chickpea mix.  Now, gently run your fingers under the skin of the breasts to separate.  Spread the garlic butter to cover each breast. Push down with your fingers to distribute evenly. 

4) Place in oven for 40-45 mins.  Dress the sliced garlic heads in oil and cook alongside chicken for 20 mins until tender. Meanwhile, blanch the potatoes in boiling water for two mins.  Drain in a colander until no steam appears.

5) Next, prep the salad, minus the avocado (do this just before serving).  Place in a bowl until serving.

6) Remove the garlic from the oven and allow to cool (or if you have asbestos fingers like me, dive right in).  Remove the clove from the skin and vigourously chop, add a pinch of salt and mash with the side of your knife.  When smooth, mix though the mayo, season and add some lemon juice.

7) Remove the chicken from the oven and allow to rest for 10 mins.  Place the potatoes into a pre-heated deep fat fryer (160C) for 5-6 mins until golden and crisp.  Meanwhile, slice the avocado and mix salad through with some lemon juice and olive oil.  

8) Spoon out the chickpea mix from chicken and carve. Serve.