Serves 4

75g lightly salted butter
1 small fennel bulb, finely chopped
1 1/2 tbsps green peppercorns in brine, drained and crushed
4 whole smoked garlic bulbs, plus 4 cloves, crushed
2 tbsps chopped tarragon
Salt and pepper
1 large chicken, about 1.6kg to 1.8kg
2 small lemons, halved
1 glass dry white wine or cider
1 tbsp clear honey


Step 1) Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. To make stuffing, melt 25g of the butter in a small pan. Fry the fennel until soft but not browned. Put in a bowl and add the peppercorns, crushed garlic, tarragon, and a little salt.

Step 2) Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Lift the skin over the breast and slide your fingers between the skin and meat, taking care not to break the skin. Work as far as you can under the skin, lifting it from the legs as well.

Step 3) Spoon the stuffing under the skin and spread out evenly, including over the leg meat. Put in a roasting tin and tie the legs with string. Dot the chicken with the remaining butter.

Step 4) Roast for 45 minutes then slice the tops off the garlic bulbs and add to the tin with the lemon halves. Brush all cut sides with pan juices and cook for a further 1 hour or until the chicken is deep golden and the juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced.

Step 5) Transfer the chicken, garlic and lemons to a serving dish and cover with foil. Leave to rest for 15 minutes. Skim off excess fat from the juices in the tin and stir in the wine or cider, honey and seasoning to taste. Bring to the boil, turn into a small jug and serve with the chicken.

Recipe by Joanna Farrow

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