If you’ve been following me for a while now, you probably will have figured that I LOVE to slow cook things, especially meat dishes.
This Slow Cooked Lamb Leg for example, which is an old family recipe, has been one of my top viewed on the blog, with SO many of you lovely folk getting back to me saying how much you loved it (which always makes me SQUEAL with joy!). Or this slow cooked Balsamic Roast Beef recipe, which is such a crowd pleaser and yields the BEST leftovers in history. There’s also this slow cooked Egyptian Fava Bean Stew, or “Fuul”, that I shared with you guys last Ramadan, which is a staple of Egyptian cuisine and is as essential to us as the water we drink.
The main reason I’m such a fan of slow cooking is the hands-free factor. Most people freak out when a recipe calls for something to be simmered or roasted for several hours, whereas I rejoice! It means that the stove/oven can do all the hard work for me, and usually all that is actually required of me is a few short minutes of easy prep, followed by the occasional stir or baste every once in a while and that’s pretty much it! Which also means that I can get SO much stuff done while dinner is cooking and have a gorgeous, proper and always DELICIOUS meal on the table come dinner time. What’s not to love?
Another reason I’m a sucker for slow cooking things is the results…hours and hours of cooking something low and slow always gives you the most tender, fall-apart dishes full of depth of flavour and that authentic home-cooked feeling, as well as making your house smell like heaven, so marvellously welcoming and warm…bonus!
So, enter this chicken dish. I’ve always known that a chicken takes about 40-60 minutes to roast on average, depending on the size of the bird, and I never really gave it much thought or attempted anything else, until I came across this recipe by Bon Apetit. I instantly knew I had to try this method, and knew that I would love it.
Since making it the first time, it has become my go-to method to roast a chicken, and I rarely go a week without making a version of it. I simplified the recipe slightly and often change up the herbs/spices as well as the vegetables I use each time I make it, depending on what I have in the fridge or what’s in season, but the general guidelines stay pretty much the same. This time I used fresh rosemary and lemon-thyme for the herb mixture, and an array of colourful carrots, sweet and regular potatoes for the vegetables, with some aromatics like onion, garlic and lemon for flavour. Other great options would be za’tar, harissa or dukah with pumpkin, parsnips or even cauliflower. Play around till you find what you like best!
The result is always the most exceptional meltingly-tender meat, perfectly soft and beautifully browned veggies and the most insanely flavourful pan-sauce/gravy/drippings, all in one baking dish! With a side of laid-back and relaxed cook. If that isn’t everything you want for dinner, I don’t know what is!
I absolutely LOVE this recipe, and it has truly become a staple in my home for a one-pot, wholesome, healthy and mouth-wateringly delicious complete meal. Give it a go and let me know what you guys think!
- • 4 tbsp. finely chopped fresh woody herbs such as rosemary, thyme & oregano (or a combination of all)*
- • 2 tsp. flaky sea salt, plus extra
- • ½ tsp. ground black pepper (optional)
- • 4 tbsp. olive oil, plus extra
- • 4 medium carrots
- • 2 medium sweet potatoes
- • 2 medium regular potatoes
- • 1 onion, peeled and cut into 8 wedges
- • 1 head of garlic, cloves separated, unpeeled
- • 1 1.5kg whole chicken
- • 1 whole lemon, quartered
- Preheat oven to 150C (300F)
- In a small bowl, mix together the herbs, 2 tsp, salt, black pepper (if using) and 4 tbsp. olive oil. Set aside.
- Prep the vegetables: wash and thoroughly scrub the carrots, regular and sweet potatoes, leaving the skin on. Chop them into roughly equally sized chunks, about 3-5cm. Place them into a very large roasting pan, along with the onion and the garlic cloves (reserve 2-3 cloves for the inside of the chicken). Drizzle the vegetables with 2 tbsp. of the prepared herb-oil mixture, and an extra 2-3 tbsp oil, along with an extra generous sprinkling of salt. Toss everything together to coat then spread the vegetables in roughly one layer in the pan.
- Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels, then place it onto the vegetables in the pan. Pour the rest of the herb-oil mixture onto and inside the chicken, rubbing it all over the outside and the inside of the bird. Tuck the wing tips behind the chicken and lay it down, breast side up, in the centre of the pan over the vegetables.
- Stuff 2 of the lemon quarters into the chicken’s cavity, along with the reserved garlic cloves. Tie up the legs of the chicken (right at the end of the drumsticks) with a piece of kitchen twine. Place the other 2 quarters of the lemon in the pan with the vegetables.
- Place the pan in the oven and roast for 3 to 3 and a half hours, rotating the pan halfway, until the chicken is beautifully golden brown and the vegetables are soft and browning at the edges. When you open the oven to rotate the pan, squeeze the 2 lemon quarters all over the vegetables using tongs, then discard them. Give the vegetables a quick toss before returning the pan to the oven.
- Wait 10 minutes before carving the chicken. Serve the chicken and vegetables with the delicious pan juices.
Recipe adapted from Bon Apetit