As Easter is fast approaching, I thought a really special roast chicken recipe would be apt, so here we go. The sweet, buttery tomatoes underneath the skin keep it lovely and moist, oozing out as you serve the chicken and the garlicky tomatoes that have been ‘incubated’ whilst it cooks are beautiful spooned over whatever you choose as your side dish.
Saffron rice would work wonders with the velvety chicken – https://thetravellingpantry.com/2014/04/09/saffron-rice-pilaf-and-2-nifty-curries/
Yoghurt flatbreads would also be good with this, as more of a lunchtime treat – https://thetravellingpantry.com/2014/04/11/easy-yoghurt-flat-breads/
I think roast potatoes with a green olive tapenade also pairs very well with this chicken, so have included the recipe below. It’s a good little tapenade to know, as it works well with lots of things.
Tomato and Thyme Roast Chicken – Recipe taken and adapted from ‘Gourmet Traveller’
Ingredients – Serves 4 – 6
- 1 whole free range chicken – about 1.6kg
- Vine ripened tomatoes, either 20 small or 8 large
- 1 onion, cut into wedges
- 1 lemon, quartered
- about 10 thyme sprigs
- 125ml dry white wine
- 125ml chicken stock
- 1 head of garlic, halved through the middle
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 70g butter, coarsly chopped
- 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, bruised
- 1 large vine ripened tomato (or 8 small) – finely chopped
- Zest of 1 lemon (the lemon is used to stuff the cavity)
- 1 tbsp finely chopped thyme
First, make the tomato butter. Melt 10g of the butter in a small saucepan and add the onion and garlic. Saute for 2-3 minutes before adding the tomato and cooking for about 8-10 minutes (until thick and reduced). Set aside to cool. Blend in a food processor with the lemon rind, thyme and remaining butter until smooth and set aside.
Preheat oven to 200°C, rinse chicken and pat dry with absorbent paper. Very carefully, slide your fingers between the skin and breast of the chicken to separate it. Loosen as much skin around the leg as possible making sure not to pierce the skin. If you do, it’s not the end of the world, you’ll just have to work with what you have. Spoon two thirds of the tomato butter between the skin and flesh and massage to spread it evenly. Spread the last third of the tomato butter over the chicken breast and thighs.
Coarsely chop 1 large tomato and stuff it into the chickens cavity with the onion, lemon and 5 thyme sprigs before tying the legs together with string. Halve remaining tomatoes (if small) or slice larger ones and add to a roasting pan with wine, stock and garlic and season well. Place the chicken on top and drizzle with olive oil before roasting in the oven for 1 hour. The time will obviously differ with the size of your chicken, mine took longer than 1 hour. Baste chicken with the pan juices every 20-30 minutes until the skin is crisp and golden and chicken is cooked through.
Roast Potatoes with Green Olive Tapenade – Recipe taken and adapted from ‘Feast’ magazine
Ingredients – serves 4 -6
- 16 kipfler, or similar small potatoes – cut in half lengthways if slightly bigger
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 oregano sprigs
- 8 garlic cloves, peeled
- Lemon wedges, to serve
Green Olive Tapenade
- 100g pitted green olives (I used Sicilian)
- 1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley
- 1/2 bunch mint leaves
- 1/2 bunch basil leaves
- 2 white anchovies
- 3 spring onions
- 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 125ml olive oil
Preheat oven to 190°C. Place the potatoes, oil, oregano and garlic in a roasting dish and toss to combine. Season and roast for 1 hour, or until they are crisp and golden.
To make the tapenade, use a food processor, or hand blender if you don’t have one. Process all the ingredients together, except the oil until chopped small. Gradually add the oil and 1 tsp of salt and process into a rough paste. Season with pepper and serve drizzled over the roast potatoes with lemon wedges.