Recipe tip: this recipe is designed to feed a crowd. It is also freezable so could be made in advance, or made in bulk for immediate and future use.
This recipe could be made using a whole chicken but using chicken legs speeds up the cooking time considerably. We think complete legs – the thigh and drumstick together – look better for the purposes of entertaining but you can use smaller cuts if necessary.
Honey brings out the natural sweetness of root vegetables and the lemon chicken provides balance and contrast.
This recipe is also easy to shrink or expand if you have larger or smaller numbers – just increase the cooking time if you bulk up significantly.
2 carrots, peeled and chopped into thick batons the size of a thumb
2 parsnips, peeled and chopped the same size as the carrots
2 potatoes (500g approx), peeled and chopped the same as the other vegetables
Small swede (500g approx), peeled and chopped the same as the other vegetables
4 sprigs of fresh or 2tsp dried thyme
5tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp clear, runny honey
6-8 chicken legs or chicken thighs and drumsticks (2.2 kilos approx), trimmed of any excess skin and skin removed if preferred
Juice and grated rind of two lemons
Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas mark 6.
- Mix 2tbsp honey, 3 tbsp olive oil, leaves of two stalks of thyme or dried thyme together in a small bowl.
- Tip the vegetables into a very large oven-proof dish or a roasting tray – the more spread out the vegetables the better.
- Pour the honey mixture over the top, season well and toss together using your hands so that all the vegetables are evenly coated.
- Next, mix together the remaining honey, lemon juice and rind, olive oil and salt and pepper. Rub this mixture over the chicken pieces and lay them on top of the vegetables.
- Place in the oven and bake for 50 minutes. Half way through cooking remove from the oven and stir the vegetables about and use a spoon to baste the chicken pieces.
- Lovely served with curly kale or Brussels tops.