Annie Bell’s lemon roast chicken with garlicky dauphinoise and rocket salad

This lemon roast chicken is a particularly gorgeous take on our favourite Sunday roast. There are lots of uses for leftover chicken, such as a Thai or Indian curry. Or make some stock and turn it into a rich vegetable soup with lentils and slivers of chicken. Any leftover gratin can be reheated.

lemon roast chicken
Chris Alack


1 x approx 2kg free-range chicken, untrussed
6 x 6cm rosemary sprigs
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
30g unsalted butter
1 lemon, halved
sea salt, black pepper


1.5kg large waxy potatoes, peeled
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
3 tbsp crème fraîche
150g grated comté or gruyère cheese
rocket or baby salad leaves, to serve

1. Preheat the oven to 210C/190C fan/gas 6½. Place the chicken in a roasting dish. Pulling off some of the rosemary needles, scatter these and the stalks over the chicken. Drizzle over 3 tablespoons of oil, dot with the butter, squeeze over the lemon juice and pop the squeezed-out halves inside the chicken. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, pour a little water into the roasting dish to a depth of a few millimetres and roast for 1 hour. Remove the chicken then leave to rest for 15-20 minutes.

2. At the same time as roasting the chicken, slice the potatoes as thinly as possible – the attachment on a food processor makes light work of this. Toss these in a bowl with the oil, garlic and some salt. Tip them into a 20cm x 30cm gratin or shallow ovenproof dish of an equivalent size, and level them with your hands (they don’t have to sit in neat overlapping slices). Cover tightly with foil and bake for 50 minutes until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife.

3. Dot the crème fraîche over the potatoes and spread to coat, then scatter over the cheese. Return the gratin to the oven for 20-25 minutes, while the chicken is resting, until the cheese is golden and bubbling.

4. Skim the excess fat off the roasting juices – you should have a tablespoon or two per person, so if necessary add a drop of water and simmer, scraping up any sticky residue. Carve the lemon roast chicken and serve with the juices drizzled over, accompanied by the gratin.

5. Serve with rocket or baby salad leaves.

Recipe by Annie Bell. Food styling: Clare Lewis. Styling: Sue Radcliffe.