I like to roast a chicken on a Sunday. It makes me feel like I’m home wherevere I am. And I always save leftovers for an easy dinner to easy myself into the week on Monday.
Last night was Sunday and dinner was yummy, easy, healthy and has left a great pile of leftovers. I’ll use the leftovers to make a gorgeous sandwich or I’ll stir the chicken and vegetables through pasta with pesto for my boys.
You can easily play around with the veggies, replace the carrots with butternut squash or other root veg, add some large chunks of fennel or cauliflower to the pan too, whatever you fancy. Here’s the recipe…
Ingredients (serves 4 with leftovers)
1 whole chicken, room temperature
8 cloves of garlic, left in their skins
6 medium carrots, chopped into 2 inch chunks
2 large handfuls brussel sprouts, ends chopped off and cut in half lengthways
Sea salt flakes and black pepper
Half a tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 bag or bunch watercress or arugula (rocket)
4 tablespoons flaked almonds (optional)
You can pick up all the equipment I use through my shop.
1. Preheat oven to 400F/200C
2. Put unpeeled garlic cloves in the bottom of a large metal roasting pan and sit the chicken on top. Then liberally sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and stick a half lemon up its bum
3. Chop the carrots and place them around the chicken in the roasting pan, be sure that your pan is big enough so they are in a single layer more or less. If you put some of the carrots under the chicken they will get delightfully sweet and sticky as they absorb the chicken juices
4. Put the roasting pan in the oven and cook for around an hour or until the juices run clear at the thigh joint when you stick a knife in (bigger chickens will take longer, smaller shorter, hence the approx time)
5. Chop the ends off the sprouts and cut them in half lengthways then put them in a bowl along with the olive oil, salt and pepper and toss together. Set aside until the chicken is done
6. When the chicken is ready, scoop it out of the roasting pan and put it to rest on a plate, covered with foil. Put the sprouts into the same pan as the carrots and put the pan back in the oven. If your carrots are looking cooked already, scoop them out and set aside and just roast the brussels
7. Cook the veg for another 20 minutes then take out of the oven.
8. Put the watercress in a large bowl and squeeze over the other half of the lemon (add the zest too for another level of flavour).
9. Use a spatula to stir the Dijon into the chicken juices left in the roasting pan. Scoop the juices, brussels, carrots and garlic out of the roasting pan and add to the watercress
10. Carve the chicken (see video) and pour any juices over the salad
11. Toss together the salad then top with the carved chicken and a sprinkle of flaked almonds.