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10 spring flavour spins on classic family recipes

Whether a pasta bake, roast, pie or quiche, give your family favourites a spring makeover. These recipes cram in tons of vibrant vegetables and fresh flavours, such as leafy greens, peppery spinach and watercress, crunchy asparagus, new potatoes and fragrant herbs.

Pot-roast chicken with lentils and spinach pistou
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Pot-roast chicken with lentils and spinach pistou

This stunning chicken pot-roast is packed with wonderful seasonal ingredients. Tender roast chicken, peppery puy lentils and an array of veggies come together in this healthy crowd-pleaser, which is made even more delicious with a dollop of spinach pistou sauce.

  1. Preheat the oven to gas 5, 190°C, fan 170°C. In a casserole or ovenproof pan large enough to hold the chicken comfortably, warm the olive oil on the hob over a medium-high heat. Add the chicken breast-side down and sear, until the skin is golden all over.
  2. Turn the chicken so it is sitting breast-side up, then reduce the heat to medium-low and add the leeks and celery. Cook for 3 minutes, then add the parsnips, stock and 500ml (17fl oz) of water. Bring to the boil, then cover with a tightly fitting lid. Transfer to the oven and cook for 1 hour.
  3. Remove from the oven and stir in the lentils. Put the lid back on and return to the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and skim most of the fat from the surface of the broth; discard. Stir in the spinach and peas, then season to taste. Set aside for 5 minutes.
  4. Transfer the chicken from the casserole to a board, letting the liquid drain away from the cavity. Carve the meat into portions and return to the casserole dish to keep warm.
  5. To make the pistou, put the garlic, spinach, basil, olive oil and 2 tbsp water in a mini food processor. Whizz until finely chopped, then season to taste. (Use immediately, or cover and chill for up to 3 days.)
  6. To serve, portion out the chicken, veg and broth in shallow bowls and top with a dollop of pistou and sides (see chive and miso sweet potato mash and stir-fried greens with garlic chips recipes).

See more Roast chicken recipes

For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home.

View full recipe details
  • Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 x 1.6kg whole chicken
  • 2 leeks, trimmed and sliced
  • 2 celery sticks, sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 x 230g pack baby parsnips, sliced
  • 450ml (3/4pt) chicken stock
  • 250g ready-to-eat puy lentils
  • 150g (5oz) baby spinach
  • 150g (5oz) freshly-podded peas (or frozen peas, defrosted)
  • For the pistou
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 50g baby spinach
  • 20g (3/4oz) fresh basil
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil