As much as I love all types of food from every corner of the world the ultimate comfort food for me will always be Roast Chicken and Potatoes. This taste of childhood and the aroma that comes from the kitchen when mom is making a special dinner is something that cannot be easily replaced by the exotic flavours of Thai curry or sushi, at least not for me.
Fortunately, cooking a roast chicken is much easier and quicker than is assumed and doesn’t have to be reserved for special occasions. This recipes I am sharing today was our weekday meal, and I do have a day job and not much time or energy to fuss around in the kitchen after I get home from work. What I also love about this meal is it only requires about 15 minutes of hands-on time and the rest of cooking is done in the oven without your involvement.
- Whole Chicken- 3-4 lbs.
- Rosemary and Thyme, or Parsley- 2,3 sprigs of each
- Garlic-3 cloves
- Potatoes- 2 lbs
- Salt and Pepper- to taste
- Olive Oil-1 tsp.
Pre-heat the oven to 350F/180C.
Rinse your chicken under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Set aside. Chop up the herbs, peel the garlic cloves and slice them. Make little slits all over the chicken with the tip of your knife and slide the garlic slices into them. My mom always did that with all of her roasts. This step allows the meat to get a delicate flavour all the way through and not just the surface.
Prick the lemon with a fork and put it inside the cavity along with the half of the chopped herbs and a clove of sliced garlic.
Rub the surface of the chicken with a tbsp. of olive oil and the other half of the herbs. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Put in the oven in a large roasting pan and set your timer for 1 hour.
While the chicken is cooking, get your potatoes ready. I used new potatoes which I usually don’t peel. Wash the potatoes and cut them in half lengthways. Put them in a pot with salted water and bring them to a boil, continue boiling for 7 minutes, then drain in a colander, cover with a lid and set aside.
When the timer for the chicken goes off take it out of the oven, baste it and scatter potatoes around it. Dip a pastry brush in the fat that collected in the roasting pan and brush the potatoes with it. Put it back in the oven for another hour, checking from time to time making sure that your potatoes are roasting evenly and turning crispy on the outside. I have discovered that nothing does a better job of achieving that crispiness than the copious amount of chicken fat! Beauty!
Serve your chicken and potatoes with any vegetables in season. I served mine with broccoli.
I also discovered some frozen baby Yorkshire puddings in my freezer so I threw them into the mix because my kids love them, we do live in England, and when in Rome…you know the rest. The baby Yorkies were great with a wonderful Russian Mushroom Gravy I adapted from Natasha’s Kitchen blog. The recipe she shares is found here. It’s very traditional in Russia and I hope it becomes one of your favourites as well. Check it out, it’s really worth having a different gravy recipe up your sleeve!