Roast chicken with creamy garlic and peppercorn sauce

If you cant get bone-in chicken legs, use a whole chicken, jointed, instead. Leave out the black garlic if you cant get hold of it and mix a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar into the sauce instead.

Prep 25 min
Cook 1 hr 25 min
Serves 4-6

3 banana shallots (or 5 ordinary shallots), peeled and finely chopped
2 tbsp green peppercorns, roughly crushed, or 2 tbsp roughly chopped capers
1 lemon, cut into 5 slices
400ml dry white wine
105g unsalted butter
, cut into 2cm cubes
Salt and black pepper
6 chicken legs
, bone in and skin on, or 1 whole chicken, jointed into 8 pieces (ie, 2 legs, 2 thighs and 2 breasts cut in half)
2 tbsp olive oil, plus 1 tsp extra
20 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
20 black garlic cloves, cut in half lengthways (or 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar – see recipe introduction)
90ml double cream
2-3 tbsp (10g) flat-leaf parsley leaves
, finely chopped
3½ tbsp (10g) chives, finely chopped

Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/ 390F/gas 6, and put the first five ingredients and 150ml water into a large 38cm x 28cm oven tray with half a teaspoon of salt and a very generous grind of black pepper.

In a large bowl, mix the chicken with two tablespoons of oil, three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt and a generous grind of black pepper, then lay them skin side up in the tray and spread out as much as possible; take care you dont get the skin wet.

Toss the whole peeled garlic cloves (ie, not the black garlic) in a teaspoon of oil, arrange them around the chicken legs, then put the tray in the oven and roast for 30 minutes. Scatter the black garlic into the sauce around the chicken legs and return to the oven for another 35 minutes, or until the chicken legs are crisp and golden brown.

Lift out the chicken and place skin side up on a second oven tray, large plate or board. Whisk the sauce mix, scraping the sides and base of the tray as you go, then gently stir in the cream and herbs. Return the chicken skin side up to the pan, and serve directly from the tray.


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