by Selma Jeevanjee

This Greek Inspired Roast Chicken with Bread recipe takes it’s cue from potatoes, though it is much more than that, of course. It is a another one-pot meal where the flavours and textures all mingle to produce a wonderful dish that is more than just a sum of it’s parts. Some of the bread and vegetables absorb the juices from the chicken and become gooey and soft whilst the rest roast and get crispy and chewy and sharp with the lemon – you can add things like artichoke hearts too if you wish or splash in some stock or wine towards the end for more of a wet roast. It is immensely adaptable to what you have in your pantry and I hope that it acts as a springboard for you – do try it with the bread though – it’s an unusual and fabulous addition!

This recipe is courtesy of Selma Jeevanjee, of Selma’s Table. Selma has a wonderful Blog featuring recipes inspired by her background and multinational upbringing. Read more about her and her recipes here

 

Ingredients:

  1. 1.5 kg free range/organic chicken
  2. 1 tsp Harissa paste
  3. 1 Tbsp Olive Branch Sundried Tomato and Basil Paste
  4. Juice of two lemons, separated and plus one whole one
  5. 3-4 slices of stale sourdough bread
  6. 1 head of garlic – cloves separated but skins left on
  7. 2 leeks, cleaned of any sand
  8. 2 – 3 Tbsp Olive Branch Green and Black olives with sundried tomato, garlic and rosemary
  9. 8 Sundried tomatoes
  10. 700 g waxy potatoes
  11. 1 Tbsp fresh or 1 tsp dried oregano
  12. Sea salt
  13. Olive Branch Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Mix the Harissa, sundried tomato paste and the juice of one lemon together to make a runny paste.
  2. Untruss the chicken. Remove as much visible fat as you can from the cavity and discard along with the trussing. If there are giblets, freeze them to make gravy another time.
  3. Smear the paste all over the chicken and inside the cavity and leave to marinate for 1 hour at room temperature.
  4. In the meantime, slice the bread into large cubes, slice the leeks into 1 inch segments and peel and halve the potatoes and arrange in a large roasting dish. Scatter over the garlic cloves, olives and the sundried tomatoes. Squeeze over the juice of the second lemon and sprinkle with oregano and sea salt.
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 220C/425F
  6. Stuff the chicken with a halved lemon
  7. Lubricate the bread and vegetables with some olive oil and arrange the chicken on top, making sure that it is sitting on some of the bread and the potatoes which will absorb the chicken juices. Pour over any remaining marinade that has been left on the plate, back over the chicken. Drizzle a little oil over the chicken and sprinkle with sea salt to help the skin crisp up.
  8. Cook the chicken for 20 minutes at 220C/425F and then turn down the heat to 180C/350F and give the pan a shake, turning over any bread and vegetables that are not covered by the chicken. Roast for another 40 – 55 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken and until the juices run clear at the leg joint.
  9. Turn off the oven. Remove chicken to rest for at least 15 minutes, loosely covered with foil. Keep the vegetables and the bread warm, also loosely covered, in the residual heat of the oven.
  10. Carve the chicken as you wish but make sure that everyone gets a good mix of crispy chewy, roasted vegetables and bread as well as some which have absorbed the chicken juices – it is a real textural revelation!

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