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The Best Roast Chicken

I do not understand why the simple roast has been subjected to being a weekend meal. Why? I can think of nothing simpler and with immpresssive results, that requires no stirring, watching or multiple pots, to achieve a glorious result. Humble enough for everyday, yet just as elegant for company.

This chicken embodies everything about my Mediterranean cuisine, with a little Greek twist. I like to add olives and sometimes, even cubed, Feta cheese.

If you love garlic and lemon you will love this recipe.

At home I do not use any measurements, after you make this a few times, as with most recipes, you will instinctively add what you love in less or more quantities. So go ahead, put all the ingredients in the baking tray the night before, cover and forget about it.

When ready to start dinner, pop it in a pre-heated oven for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, and forget about it.

Serve straight from the pan or get fancy, and plate it up on a platter, making sure to pour all the delicious pan drippings on top. If chicken has come straight from the refrigerator, I suggest you let it sit at room temperature, 1 hour before roasting.

I like to serve this with a simple salad and white rice.


The Best Roast Chicken and Potatoes

Serves 4

1 Chicken, about 1½ kg, Free range and cut in half lengthwise.

6 Potatoes, medium. I like Maris Piper, Russet,or Idaho variety

Peeled and cut into small cubes, about 2 cm.

3 Lemons, 2 Juiced, 1 quarted to serve

After juicing the two lemons, reserve the halves to add to roasting pan

1 Garlic bulb, finely chopped

6 Bay leaves, torn in half

240 ml. Extra virgin olive oil

50 ml. Brandy, Port or Madeira wine

1 tsp. Crushed red chilli flakes, optional

4 tbsp. Oregano, dried Greek

1 tbsp. Sweet paprika, pimenton dulce

100 g. Chorizo, sliced, optional

100 g. Kalamata olives, olives pitted and drained

(roughly 10-15 olives)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

10 Baby plum tomatoes, whole

1 Fresh parsley, chopped

Pre-heat oven to 180°c.

Using kitchen scissors or a sharp chef's knife, cut along the backbone and then down from top of breastbone, to seperate in half. Your butcher can do this for you.

In a large roasting pan, arrange chicken in centre and place potatoes all around. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.

In a bowl combine olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, garlic, Brandy, paprika and crushed red chilis, if using.

Stir to combine and pour all over chicken and potatoes.

Tuck juiced, reserved lemon halves around and under chicken.

Scatter bay leaves around chicken and potatoes and toss in chorizo, if using, tomatoes and olives.

Place in pre-heated oven.

Roast uncovered, for 1 hour and 10 minutes, let rest 10 minutes before serving with chopped fresh parsley and fresh lemon wedges.

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