Thursday, 20 December 2012

Paprika, Honey and Herb Roasted Chicken with Vegetables

Firstly, let me apologise for the pictures of the end results of this meal. I know it makes this meal look unappealing, and I even considered not posting this until I've made this dish again and taken much more appetizing photos, but the people who enjoyed this meal persuaded me to post this anyway, because they liked it that much.

I made this meal a week ago, along with the green rice and another side dish (which will be posted soon), the spiced pecans and the cake to go with it. I was cooking the whole meal on my own for my family, and it took me a while to cook everything (as easy as they were) and trying to take pictures of the process and writing down the recipe/changes, that when it was finally dinner time everyone was starving. No one wanted to wait for me to position my creation in a fancy way, or let me take different shots in different lights, and I barely got a minute to snap these two shots before everyone started serving themselves!

Everyone loved it. Actually, come to think of it, I didn't get a single complaint about any of the dishes that day. For my family, that's an achievement! This dish is another easy dish (for someone who started a food blog as a challenge to experiment with different foods, I've really stuck to easy foods! Need to do something about that), and is forever adaptable. The vegetables can be changed to whatever you fancy.. if I had some celery and green olives I would have chucked them in. Parsnips would also be a good addition here. The herbs can be changed to what you've got or what you prefer. The butter can be flavoured however you like.. adding a crushed clove of garlic? some cayenne pepper? Lemon rind?

The recipe is forgiving, and produces delicious results. If you can get past the unappealing photos, try it and see for yourself.

Paprika, Honey and Herb Roasted Chicken with Vegetables

(serves 4)

2 small chickens (around 1 kg each), giblets removed
1 lemon, cut in half
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
10 sprigs of fresh thyme
6 sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons paprika
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tablespoon dried marjoram
2 sweet potatoes, chopped
3 medium sized carrots, chopped
1 large onion, or 2 smaller onions, roughly sliced
4 medium sized potatoes, chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
Rinse chicken under cold water and pat dry. Dry it well, as any excess water will turn to steam in the oven and prevent the skin from getting nice and crispy.

Insert half a lemon, 2 cloves of garlic, 3 sprigs of thyme and  1 sprigs of rosemary in the cavity of each bird, and tie the legs together with kitchen twine.

In a small bowl, mix together the butter, honey and paprika until well mixed, and refrigerate for half an hour. Using your fingers, massage the butter mixture all over the skin of the bird. Any excess can be rubbed under the skin of the breasts.

Sprinkle the chopped thyme, rosemary and dried marjoram all over the bird, and generously dash with salt and a lot of pepper, and let chicken sit for one hour until it's about room temperature.

While the bird is coming to room temperature, preheat your oven to 230°C (450°F), and arrange the vegetables in a deep baking dish, and drizzle with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Add the remaining sprigs of thyme and rosemary around the baking dish. Now, either place the chicken, breast side up, on a metal rail as I have over the baking dish, or simply place the chickens on top of the vegetables.
When oven is ready, place the chicken and vegetables into the oven, and roast for 45 minutes or when the juices run clear from thickest part of the thigh when pierced, and the vegetables are soft.

Cover with foil and let it rest for 10-15 minutes, then serve.

(Note: If you have a larger bird, you may need to increase the ingredients and roasting time.)

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