While writing the blueprint for this recipe, we never expected that it would turn out this good! Sumac is dried and crushed barberries and, we're obsessed with it. Who knew that stuffing it under a chicken breast would create such delectable results. If wild garlic isn't in season, we recommend substituting it with tarragon or chervil but you can use any fresh herb you have.
2 lemons, cut into wedges
3 cloves of garlic, unpeeled and crushed with the back of a knife
2 shallots, peeled and halved
6 sprigs of thyme
salt & pepper to taste
4 tbsp sumac
4 tbsp butter, at room temperature.
10 g wild garlic, finely chopped (if wild garlic is not in season, you can use any other fresh herb, for example dill or parsley)
½ tsp peppercorns, crushed
½ tsp coriander seeds, crushed
1 large whole chicken (approx. 2 kg)
1 tsp olive oil
1. Heat the oven to 240°C/ 220°C fan/ gas mark 7. In a small bowl mix half the lemon wedges, garlic, shallots and thyme, then salt and pepper to taste. Pour the mix into the cavity. Scatter the remaining lemon wedges, garlic, shallots and thyme over the base of a roasting tin that comfortably fits the chicken.
2. Combine the sumac with butter, wild garlic, peppercorns and coriander. Using the back of a spoon, carefully separate the skin from the breast, then evenly rub the butter mixture under the chicken skin.
3. Rub the skin with the olive oil, season generously with salt and pepper.
4. Roast the chicken on the middle rack of the oven for 10 minutes at 240°C/ 220°C fan/gas mark 7, then reduce the temperature to 200°C/ 180°C fan/gas mark 6.
5. Continue to roast for around 1 ½ hours or until the juices run clear when a knife is inserted into the thickest part of the leg. While cooking, baste the chicken 2-3 times with the pan juices.
6. Allow the chicken to rest, covered with foil for around five minutes before carving.