Sal’s Kitchen: Easy Roast

A few weeks ago I co-hosted a girls lunch at my sister's place ... you can see my creative butchers paper table setting here. It was a cold, wet Saturday afternoon so we decided to serve a Greek-style lemon and herb roast chicken.

I love doing roasts because they're easy, especially when you're entertaining. It's fool-proof and once it's in the oven, you're free to scuttle around and do all the side dishes and the dessert and also any last minute tidying up!

So, this is a Greek-style roast chicken recipe and I don't hold back with the herbs or the lemon, because that's what gives it that really fresh, zesty taste. Typical of Greek-style cooking, I butterfly my chicken, mainly because it reduces cooking time but I also find it helps to infuse the marinade.

Chicken Roast:

What You'll Need
What to do
  • 1 Whole Chicken
  • 60g butter at room temperature 
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground hot chilies
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup of flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh oregano, chopped  
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 lemons
  1. To butterfly the chicken, use a sharp knife or kitchen scissors to cut down either side of the backbone. 
  2. Remove the backbone.  
  3. Open the chicken outwards and using a sharp knife, remove the rib bones.  
  4. Wipe the inside of the chicken with a paper towel.
  5. Turn the chicken over and, starting at the neck end, insert your fingers between the skin and the flesh of the breast. 
  6. Carefully create a pocket in the breasts, thighs and drumsticks.
  7. Mix the butter with paprika, chilli, garlic, parsley, oregano, salt, pepper and lemon zest.  
  8. Spread the butter under the skin.
  9. Cut the lemons in half, and place cut side down in a baking dish.  Place the chicken on top of the lemons.
  10. Allow to marinate for 30 minutes

What’s a roast chicken without crunchy potatoes & roast veges to go with it? After about 100 attempts I think I've mastered the art of getting that deliciously delicate balance of outer crunch and melt in the mouth fluffy middle, like they do in restaurants.

The secret?
Parcooking. Parcooking is a process whereby you first partially boil the vegetables, then toss into flavoured oil (pre-heat the oil before throwing in the vegetables) and bake till golden and crispy on the outside.

Roast Potato and Veggies:

What You'll Need
What to do
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Parsnips
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Salt and Pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C & boil a large pan of salted water. 
  2. Roughly chop the veges and put the potatoes, carrots and parsnips into a large pan of salted, boiling water on a high heat and bring back to the boil.
  3. Allow to boil for 5 minutes.
  4. Drain in a colander and allow to steam dry.
  5. Fluff up the potatoes in the colander by shaking it around a little – it's important to 'chuff them up' like this if you want them to have all those lovely crispy bits when they're cooked.
  6. Put the vegetables, onion and garlic into a large roasting tray.
  7. Add a generous amount of olive oil over the vegetables, garlic and salt and pepper.
  8. Stir the vegetables around to coat them in the flavours. 
  9. Spread them out evenly into one layer – this is important, as you want them to roast, not steam as they will if you have them all on top of each other. 
  10. Place the chicken atop the vegetables to let all the flavours infuse.
  11. Add the halved lemons (from the chicken recipe) with the pointy ends removed.
  12. Put the whole tray into the preheated oven for about 1 hour, or until golden, crisp and lovely. 

Bon Appettit .... we didn't have any leftovers with this one. Demolished !!

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