Whenever I’m thinking of food to cook at the weekend, I always consider a roast. My favourite is of course the British classic: Roast Chicken. This recipe is the way I do it, which uses one (large) dish (to save on washing up) and quite frankly takes only about 10 minutes to prepare and can be left alone to cook after that.
I use whatever vegetables I have to hand, so feel free to deviate from those I have used: aubergine, carrots and parsnips are all good choices too.
The recipe doesn’t include any carbs, but if you do want some (and generally I do), I suggest roast potatoes. I make mine by using one baking potato per person, chopping it into ½ inch cubes. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil, a dash of salt, pepper and a sprinkling rosemary (fresh is better but dried will do the trick just as well) and cook for 40 minutes in the same oven as the chicken.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- 1 large whole chicken (2kg)
- 2 leeks
- 3 peppers (1 red, 1 orange, 1 yellow)
- 1 courgette
- 2 red onions
- 1 lemon
- 2 sprigs of rosemary
- a handful of pitted black olives – optional
- Olive oil
- Freshly ground pepper
- Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC
- Prepare the vegetables: Wash the leeks, cut into thirds lengthways and then slice down the middle; chop the tops off the peppers, de-seed and cut into large fork-sized chunks; cut the red onions into quarters leaving the root intact; finally cut the courgette into ½ inch slices.
- Toss all the vegetables into the baking dish. Drizzle over with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil (not extra virgin), a good pinch of salt and few twists of pepper.
- Un-truss your chicken (i.e. take of any bits of string that have been use to tie its feet together) and place on top of the vegetables.
- Cut the lemon in half and push into the chicken cavity along with the rosemary sprigs. Then rub a little olive oil all over the chicken skin and season with salt and pepper.
- Put in the oven and do nothing more than set a timer for 90 minutes, then occupy your time with anything you like. If you’re using a different sized chicken, following the timings for it to make sure it’s cooked through – this can be tested by piercing the breast meat to make sure the juices run clear.
- If you’re adding the potatoes remember to come back to the oven to pop them in, so that they get their 40 minutes roasting too.
- Once the chicken is cooked and golden you can either set on a serving dish and carve or, what I prefer to do, pull the chicken apart (into legs, breast, wings etc.) and place on a large platter. Use a slotted spoon to remove the veg from the baking tray (leaving behind all the juices and fat that will have collected) and pile up onto the serving plate with the chicken.