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Wednesday
Jun112014

Roasted Chicken with Garlic and Lemon

This recipe is based on one from the book Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. 
I love the method for cooking the chicken here and it really works – high temperature oven, chicken on the bone, with skin on, for flavour and texture. The marinade adds enough liquid to keep the chicken moist as it steams beneath and the high temperature crisps the skin beautifully. I have simplified the ingredients here and chosen baby potatoes rather than Jerusalem artichokes as although the flavour is simpler they are easier to prepare and find. The pink peppercorns are probably the only tricky ingredient to find here but I am such a fan of this pepper and its gentle fragrance and colour that I recommend trying it if you haven’t before. The fresh herbs are must if you can – even exchange the thyme for oregano or marjoram but I find dried tarragon can add the punch required if need be. 
This is a recipe based on cooking technique for me and the flavour can be tweaked as you further understand how it comes together.

Pictured: Roasted Chicken with Garlic and Lemon

450g baby/chat potatoes, cut into quarters
20 ml lemon juice 
To marinade - 
8 chicken thighs, on the bone with skin on, or 4 chicken marylands
2 red/spanish onions, peeled and quartered
12 large garlic cloves, sliced 
1 medium lemon, cut in half lengthways and then into very thin slices 
50 ml olive oil 
150 ml cold water 
1 tbsp pink peppercorns, slightly crushed 
10 g fresh thyme leaves 
1/2 bunch tarragon leaves, chopped, or 1 tbsp dried tarragon
2 tsp sea salt plus 1 tsp black pepper
To serve -
Another 20ml lemon juice and another tbsp dried tarragon or other half of fresh tarragon

Cover the potatoes with cold water and add the lemon juice. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 8 minutes, or until tender but not soft. Drain and leave to cool.
Place the potatoes and all the remaining ingredients, in a large mixing bowl and mix everything together well. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge overnight, or for at least 2 hours. This step adds the depth of flavour to the dish to the longer the better.
Preheat the oven to 240°C.
Arrange the chicken pieces, skin-side up, in the centre of a roasting tin and spread the remaining ingredients around the chicken. Roast for 30 minutes. Cover the tin with foil and cook for a further 15 minutes. At this point, the chicken should be completely cooked.
Remove from the oven and add the reserved tarragon and lemon juice. Stir well, taste and add more salt if needed.
Serve at once alongside either a rice dish or some green beans or salad
Serves 4
Pictured: Roasted Chicken with Garlic and Lemon pre Roasted