As I have got older weekends have changed and the food I eat has changed to suit . I used to need a hearty Saturday breakfast to soak up Friday night post work cocktails, now I am more likely to be up early making picnic lunches for a long day walking in the country or enjoying a freshly made bacon roll while I explore the local farmers market . I am preparing for everything to change again next month when I give birth to my first child.
But one weekend food constant, I doubt will ever change is a Sunday Roast. For me these began with family roasts cooked by my Mum or Grand . It was from these relaxed and confident cooks that I inherited a love of feeding family ,freinds, waif and strays and I always cooked Sunday Roasts in my student halls and shared houses.
The roast tradition has continued. Despite living hundred of miles from my partner Nick for the first few years of our relationship we would cooking and eat Sunday lunch together before one of us journeyed home, clutching a box of leftovers and leaving the other grateful for the distraction of a mound of washing up. Now we live together and still cook every Sunday in our shared some where I cannot wait to feed our baby it’s first roast dinner
Although I often experiment with long slow cooks in winter and barbecuing joints in summer, my signature roast , the one I turn to with regularity is this easy one pot roast chicken with vegetables
I probably make a variation of this dish once a month you can use any vegetable in season added to the base of potatoes, onions and garlic .
Winter : Turnips, Swede & Carrots (Seasoned with Rosemary or Sage )
Spring : Leeks , Carrots, Fennel (Seasoned with Lemon , Chives , Savory)
Autumn : Butternut Squash, Beetroot, Carrots (Seasoned with ground cumin , coriander chilli )
Summer Courgette , Aubergine , Peppers , Celery , Olives ( Seasoning Dried oregano, sage or thyme )
This is so easy to prepare the vegetables are roughly chopped, seasoned and piled around the chicken in a roasting dish. The whole lot goes into the oven and the dish requires just one stir or shake half way through cooking to mix the roasting chicken juices with the vegetables.
If you are cooking for a lot of people you can put two chickens into the pan and really pile the vegetables up around, because all vegetables shrink down on cooking. Equally this dish can be made with joints of chicken laid over the vegetables if you really hate carving.
One Pot Roast Chicken and Seasonal Vegetables
1 medium chicken 1.5kg
400g of potatoes cut into quarters
2 large red peppers roughly chopped into 2cm pieces
2 large red onions peeled roughly chopped into 2cm pieces
2 handfuls of olives (green or back to taste)
1 lemon cut into quarters
2 sticks of celery
3 cloves of garlic peeled and roughly chopped
1 tbsp of dried oregano, sage or herbs de provence
Salt and Pepper to season
- Roughly chop the vegetables and mix together with the seasoning / dried herbs
- Rub the chicken all over with salt, pepper and dried herbs
- Place in a large roasting dish and pile the roughly chopped vegetables around the chicken
- Roast at 180degC for 1.5 hours .
- Half way through cooking turn all the vegetable throughly to ensure they are coated in the roasting dishes
- If the chicken looks like it is browning too much cover with foil
- At the end of cooking remove the roasting tray from the oven. Cover with foil and allow to rest for 20 minutes
The result is a perfectly roasted chicken with delicious sticky roasted vegetables, you can serve with salad or steamed greens.
To serve I like to joint the chicken roughly and return the meat it to the roasting pan letting people help themselves and save on washing serving dishes and lets guest dip their potatoes in roasting juices.
This is a very economical dish too as
- leftover chicken mixed with a little dressing or mayonnaise is great in packed lunch as a salad or sandwich filling
- Simmer the chicken carcass in water with any leftover roasting juices to make a hearty chicken stock for risottos or with soups.