Roast Chicken Dinner

Niamh Mannion's key ingredient dish from Heat 1 of MasterChef 2014


  • 1 chicken supreme with skin on
  • 1 chicken leg with skin on
  • carrot purée:
  • 3 large carrots
  • large pinch of ground ginger
  • 50-75 ml of double cream
  • a little of the liquid that the carrots were simmered in, if required
  • stuffing:
  • 200 g breadcrumbs
  • 0.50 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tblsp finely chopped parsley
  • 0.50 clove garlic finely crushed
  • zest of half a lemon
  • 0.50 tablesp vegetable oil
  • large knob of butter
  • crispy chicken skin:
  • skin removed in one piece from the chicken supreme
  • large pinch of maldon sea salt
  • roast potatoes:
  • 2 small to medium sized potatoes (roosters)
  • 2 cloves of garlic cut in half
  • small amount of vegetable oil
  • poaching liquid for chicken breast and chicken sauce:
  • 500 ml well flavoured chicken stock
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 1 onion chopped into large chunks
  • 100 ml white wine
  • large sprig of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • gremolata:
  • 2 tblsp finely chopped parsley
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • zest of ½ lemon
  • maldon sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper


  1. 1. Pre-heat oven to 220C.
  2. 2. De-bone chicken breast from the chicken supreme. Carefully remove skin from chicken breast, in one piece. Set chicken breast aside until later.
  3. 3. De-bone chicken leg. Do not remove skin. Flatten out leg and set aside until later.
  4. 4. Wash and dry chicken skin. Flatten out skin, place on baking tray and season generously with sea salt. Place another baking tray on top of the chicken breast and place in pre-heated oven for 45 minutes, but check after 20 minutes and if beginning to crisp up remove uppermost baking tray and allow to continue cooking, keeping an eye on it so ensure that it does not burn. When cooked remove from oven and set aside. As it cools it should still stay crispy, if cooked through enough.
  5. 5. Peel carrots and cut into small chunks. Put into small saucepan, just covering with water. Add a pinch of ground ginger and a pinch of salt. Bring up to the boil and then simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until cooked through. Puree the carrots with a little of the cooking liquid in a blender. Slowly add in double cream stopping once a smooth velvety consistency has been achieved. Set aside and keep warm whilst finishing off the rest of the dish.
  6. 6. Heat a little oil in a small frying pan. Add a large knob of butter. Sweat onions adding the crushed garlic after a couple of minutes. Do not allow colour. Add breadcrumbs and then add the finely chopped parsley and the lemon rind. Season well and set aside to cool.
  7. 7. Meanwhile peel potatoes and parboil in salted water for about 8 minutes. Drain and cover. Rough up the outside flesh of the parboiled potato with a fork.
  8. 8. Heat some oil in a small oven proof roasting tray on the hob. Once the oil is hot add potatoes and colour them all over turning as required. Pop dish into oven. Cook for about 40 minutes ensuring that they are golden brown all over.
  9. 9. Put chicken breast into a small saucepan and cover with all the other ingredients for the poaching liquid. Bring up to the boil and then simmer gently for 12-15 minutes until cooked through. Turn off heat but leave in the poaching liquid to finish cooking gently until you finish the rest of the dish.
  10. 10. Separately, put a 2/3 tablespoons of the cooled stuffing mixture into the de-boned chicken leg meat against the exposed meat, leaving the skin side to the outside. Roll up leaving the skin to the outside and secure with cocktail sticks to make a small leg-shaped roll.
  11. 11. Heat some vegetable oil in an oven proof frying pan and brown the skin on all sides. Then place in the hot oven to continue cooking for about 25-30 minutes. When cooked through, take out of oven, cover with tin foil and leave somewhere warm to rest.
  12. 12. Put about 200ml of the poaching liquid into a clean small pan and reduce by about half to create a light chicken flavoured sauce. Add a small squeeze of lemon and season if required just before plating up.
  13. 13. Meanwhile, make the gremolata… finely chop the parsley, garlic and lemon zest together. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and a teaspoon of light olive oil and set aside.
  14. Plating up:
  15. 1. Take a large tablespoon of carrot purée and smear around the side of the plate.
  16. 2. Remove chicken breast from poaching liquor and slice couple of slices and place on plate. Take stuffed chicken leg, cut in half at an angle and place on plate. Put a roast potato on the plate.
  17. 3. Spoon some of the chicken sauce over the meat and then drizzle some of the gremolata over the dish.
  18. 4. Serve.

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