Confession time: I have never roasted a whole chicken. Ok that is a slight exaggeration – when I was 16 and tossing up the idea of becoming a chef, I did hospitality at school and they had us roasting chickens. But we were in a group of 4 and the second the teacher mentioned gizzards I was totally out. I hate icky gross things like that.
Since then it has purely been turkey roll roasts and pre-marinated chicken roll roasts for me. But, you know, we all have to grow up sometime and I think being able to make a decent Sunday roast is just a part of that. And seeing as we arent into lamb it was going to have to be chicken.
I discussed the idea of gizzards with the boy and that at some stage he may have to rescue me from the ickyness of them. He obliged but wasnt overly keen. So it was with much relief that when I looked into the chicken “cavity” that there were no gizzards! Even still, I stuffed that bird like I was still a sissy teenage girl and got more stuffing on the floor than I did in the bird as I didn’t want to put my whole hand in there.
Despite the fact that roasting this chicken was 2 hours of solid work, I was so proud of the end result. It was jucier than a store bought roast chicken and had more meat and a bit more flavour. I am not sure though that I would do this every week for a Sunday roast – it was a LOT of work! But still, Iam glad I gave it a go!
I chose the Roast Chicken with pan roasted romesco from Valli Little’s Delicious Quick Smart Cook.
The sauce that accompanied this was nice – although I do think I prefer gravy with my roast.
And of course, what roast would be complete without roast veggies?
Roast chicken with pan roasted romesco
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tbs smoked paprika
1 tbs chopped rosemary leaves
8 garlic cloves
1.8kg free range chicken
1 red capsicum, cut into chunks
1 tomato, cut into chunks
½ cup blanched almonds, toasted
¼ cup fresh breadcrumbs, lightly oven toasted
¼ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1 cup dry sherry
Combine 2 tablespoons oil, paprika, rosemary and 2 crushed garlic cloves in a bowl. Season, then rub mixture over the chicken. Cover and marinade in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180c
Place the chicken in a roasting pan and roast for 1 hour. Scatter capsicum, tomato and remaining garlic cloves around the chicken and drizzle with remaining oil. Roast for a further 20 minutes or until the chicken is golden and the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced.
Meanwhile, place the almonds, breadcrumbs and parsley in a food processor. Season and process until combined. Set aside.
Remove chicken to a plate, cover loosely with foil, and rest while you finish the sauce.
Place the roasting pan with vegetables over medium heat, add the sherry and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes until slightly reduced. Cool slightly then place in the food processor with half the crumb mixture and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve the roast chicken on a platter or board sprinkled with the remaining crumb mixture with the romesco sauce on the side.