This is one of those recipes you come across and immediately think "I MUST COOK THAT!" Jamie never fails, you guys. We know that. And while this was a little more work than I thought it would be it was definitely worth it. The leftovers were killer too, which was a huge surprise.
What you'll need:
Preheat your oven to 400°F. Drizzle olive oil all over the chicken and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Pick and scatter over the thyme leaves (reserving the stalks). Rub the flavours into the skin, then halve the lemon and put it inside the cavity along with the thyme stalks. Pop the chicken into a large roasting tray (roughly 25 x 32cm) and cook in the oven for 1 hour. Meanwhile, halve the cherry tomatoes, then smash up your garlic bulb and discard the papery white skin. After about 30 minutes, throw the tomatoes and garlic into the chicken tray, ideally holding the chicken up with tongs while you slush everything around and coat the tomatoes in the juices underneath. Put the chicken back on top, then return it to the oven for the remaining 30 minutes, or until the chicken is golden and the juices from the thigh run clear when pricked with a knife.
Transfer the roasted chicken to a plate, cover with tin foil and leave to cool. Tear the bread into the roasting tray in thumb-sized croutons, then toss them in all the cooking juices. Spread the croutons out in the tray and lay the rashers of bacon on top. Pop back in the oven for around 15 to 20 minutes, or until everything is crispy, golden and gorgeous.
These tomatoes were from our garden. I can hardly believe it. They were delicious. What a sense of accomplishment I had cooking and eating something I grew. Who knew!
Once the croutons are golden, quickly tear the chicken skin into the roasting tray (skip this if you want a healthier salad, I did) and put back into the oven just until it crisps up again. When it's looking lovely, tip everything from the bowl into the tray or on to a large serving platter. Toss everything together and serve in the middle of the table.
Does it sort of look like a dog's breakfast? YEP. But it tastes AMAZING!