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Author Notes: This is my BEST CHICKEN RECIPE because it’s tasty and really easy to make. Everyone thinks you have gone to so much more trouble than you have, but it’s one of those dishes you can prep, stick in the oven, and then help the kids with homework, or enjoy a glass of wine while it roasts! My favourite chicken on the other hand, is the Roasted Chicken with Bread Salad from Zuni Cafe (and cookbook from same), but it takes forever to cook, and has has so many steps, I don’t cook that as often
This is a dish you learn to make from heart, as the ingredients and measurements aren’t really all that critical. Just adjust to suit your own taste and make it your own classic
Serves 4-6 depending on sides
For the Roast Chicken
- 1 Organic chicken
- 1/2 cup Greek or natural yoghurt
- 1 - 2 tablespoons Cumin
- 1 tablespoon Lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Freshly cracked pepper and sea salt
- Take the chicken out of the refrigerator and remove the innards from the cavity. Check the funny little heart out! Discard or feed to the dog or cat. Pat dry with paper towels (the chicken not the dog/cat). Set aside and cover. Now wash your hands!
- Adjust the racks in the oven to make sure the baking dishes will fit, preferably around the middle where the temperature is more even. You’ll want to put the heavier baking dish underneath a lighter one or baking tray. Allow room for any vegetables on another shelf if roasting at the same time. Preheat the oven to 390 degrees F (200C).
- Mix all the other ingredients for the chicken together in a small bowl or jug.
- Roast the chicken for about an hour. You can use an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh to check temperature. It should be about 165 degrees F (73F). If you don’t have a thermometer don’t fret. Stick a small sharp knife or a skewer (an equally handy tool for baking and roasting) into the thigh. The juice that runs out will be ‘clear’ when the chook is cooked. If the juice is still a little bloody, leave to roast a while longer. The crust should golden with bits of dark caramelization from the marinade.
- When done, remove the chicken to a cutting board to rest for about 15 minutes before cutting up however you like.
- Served with a warm, roast vegetable salad and some simply dressed green salad leaves. The vegetables cook in the oven at the same time as the chicken, and the salad takes about 5 minutes to assemble while the chicken is resting (after all the hard work its done!)
Warm Roast Vegetable Salad
- 3 Carrots, peeled and cut into wedges
- 2 Parsnips, peeled and cut into wedges
- 1/4-1/2 Butternut squash or small pumpkin
- 2 Spanish or red onions, peeled and quartered
- 1 Red pepper (capsicum), seeds and pith removed, cut into about 16 strips, lenghways
- 2 Fennel bulbs, trimmed and sliced
- 1 knob of garlic, rough skin removed, and cut in half horizontally
- Freshly ground pepper
- Sea salt
- 4 tablespoons EVOO (Extra virgin olive oil)
- 1 tablespoon Honey
- 1 tablespoon Lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons Mayonnaise (optional)
- Freshly cracked black pepper and sea salt
- 1/4 cup Fresh chopped herbs: parsley, thyme... whatever you prefer
- Place the prepared vegetables in the baking dish or tray, and drizzle with some olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. toss gently.
- Place in the oven. Turn after 15 minutes, and cook a further 15 minutes or until just tender. When cooked through and slightly caramalized, remove from oven and cool a little, so you can handle them.
- Just before serving, toss as much dressing as you need, together with the roast vegetables (in the baking dish). Plate or serve in a separate dish with the rest of the herbs scattered on top, some salad greens and the chicken.
- Dressing?Mix all the wet ingredients, salt and pepper and half the herbs together in a small jar, jug or bowl.
- You can also ADD lots of other tasty things to the salad, that you might have on hand. Such as: + Toasted pine nuts + A handful of dried cranberries OR Currants (briefly marinated in the vinegar) + Some cooked lentils, chickpeas, quinoa or cracked wheat (burghul) if you want a larger dish and more protein. + Scattered with crumbled soft goat cheese (chèvre)
- TIP: To make life easier, measure dry ingredients first, then the oil for the marinade. Measure the honey last. The oil coats the measuring spoon so it is not so hard to clean up after the honey and you get it all in the recipe, not on the spoon.