Since being in England, we have enthusiastically embraced the Sunday Roast tradition. In general we alternate between going to a good pub or cooking our own at home. Often home-cooked is much better, because it hasn’t been sitting around in the pub kitchen since the morning. And we can cook the vegetables we like, not just frozen peas and carrots.
Though Sunday Roast is an inherently British tradition, roast chicken can be found in cuisines throughout the world, just think of Tandoori chicken or Portuguese Charcoal Chicken.
This recipe can be used for any size chicken, and I’ve also used the same method for cooking a large turkey. It will almost guarantee you moist chicken on the inside and crispy skin on the outside! It’s super simple – slather in butter mixed with lemon zest, stuff with lemon and add chicken stock to the roasting pan. I’ve served the chicken with a potato and parsnip rosti, and roasted Brussel sprouts.
1 whole chicken, around 1.5kg
2 cloves of garlic
3 medium potatoes
1 large parsnip
1/2 cup grated cheese
1-2 tbsp. coconut oil
1 bag of Brussel sprouts
1 cup chicken stock
1-2 tbsp. corn flour
Salt and pepper
Directions – serves 4 people
Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC. Total cooking time is about 2 hours; make sure you plan ahead so you don’t end up having dinner at 9pm!
The timings I’ve used in this recipe are based on a 1.5kg chicken, enough for 4 people plus some leftovers. Prep the chicken first – take it out of the bag and place into a greased oven-proof roasting dish.
Place the butter into a small dish, and then zest half the lemon. Mix the butter and lemon zest together, then rub it all over the chicken skin. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper.
Cut the zested lemon in half and put inside the chicken with the garlic cloves. Pour the chicken stock into the same roasting pan, then cover with tinfoil (or a lid if you have one).
Pop into the oven – the first hour or so you want to cook the chicken covered, then remove tinfoil for the last 40 minutes, so the skin will become nice and crispy.
While the chicken is cooking, prep the vegetables. Peel the potatoes and parsnip, then grate into a bowl. Add 1/4 tspn of salt and pepper, and the grated cheese, then combine well. If it feels a bit wet, you can add a spoon of corn flour or coconut flour. Divide into four, and mould into four patties. Don’t worry if they don’t hold their shape just yet. Heat the oil in a frying pan, and carefully place each rosti into the hot oil. Allow to fry for 5-7 minutes, gently shaping into a disc and pressing down, until they are golden underneath and hold their shape. Flip and fry the other side. Place onto an oven proof tray.
Prep the Brussel sprouts by chopping each in half and tossing into a dish. Quarter the onions and add to the same dish. Season with salt and pepper and a splash of oil.
After the chicken has been in the oven for 50 minutes, place the rostis and vegetables in – they will cook for a total of 40 minutes. Remove the tinfoil from the chicken so it can cook uncovered.
When there is five minutes to go, make sure you have a pot ready for the chicken juices. Once the chicken is done, pour the juices in. There should be plenty there because of the chicken stock, and it will have a delicious lemony taste. I use corn starch to thicken into a gravy, as it’s gluten free – though technically not paleo. Just add to the pot and stir until it thickens to your liking. Some people like it runny, others like it nice and thick!
Serve the sliced chicken on top of a rosti, with the sprouts and onions on the side. Drown in gravy and eat and enjoy!