Recipe by Zurie
Don't expect a fine dining recipe -- this is rustic, comfort food for the busy cook, which will fill the kitchen with its fragrance as it roasts! I make this dish at least once a week or ten days, and always heave a sigh of relief when I've shoved the entire dinner into the oven in one go and can leave it to cook itself, while I do something more interesting! A salad is all I make as an extra. The vegetables can be substituted with any others, as long as they will roast satisfactorily. I don't like roasting carrots, for example, because they can come out still chewy. The veggies used for Mediterranean roast dishes are best, but use what you have available. As I cook for two, the breast part of the chicken will always be left (we prefer legs and wings) and is very useful for a chicken salad, or chopped up and used in a pasta topping. Note that quantities given are basically for 2 people, so adjust quantities for more, and cut down on the variety because there won't be space in the roaster!!
- 1 chicken, about 3 lbs
- salt (preferably flaky sea salt)
- 2 bell peppers (or 1 per diner)
- 2 tomatoes, medium, ripe
- 6 zucchini
- 1 cup broccoli floret
- 1 cup cauliflower floret (or use a small head)
- 1 onion, quartered
- 6 slices cucumbers, thick (or use large mushrooms)
- 4 medium potatoes, peeled
- 10 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- 2 tablespoons rosemary
- 1 lemon (or lime) (optional)
- 1⁄2 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (or grainy mustard)
- coarse black pepper
Directions See How It's Made
- Heat oven to 350 deg F/180 deg Celsius Use your largest oven roaster -- like the one in the photo, which comes with most ovens.
- Clean the chicken of all extra fat and skin flaps. Season inside with salt. If using, put two thick slices of lime or lemon, an onion quarter and 1 - 2 garlic cloves inside the cavity.
- Place the chicken in the roasting pan.
- Cut the ends off the bell peppers, remove seeds and ribs, sprinkle in a little salt and pepper, and put a peeled tomato in each cavity.
- Add the cleaned cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini and cucumber slices (or mushrooms) to the pan.
- Add the potatoes and the onion quarters. Sprinkle the chopped garlic over everything, and also use some salt, lightly, over the vegetables and chicken.
- For the dressing, mix the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, mustard and some black pepper in a bowl, and whisk well to mix.
- Drizzle this over the contents of the roasting tin, and rub some of it all over the chicken. Make sure the potatoes get their share of dressing.
- Sprinkle the rosemary over the chicken.
- Bake the lot for about 1 1/2 hours. Everything should be done after that, BUT you might have to tent a piece of foil over the roaster halfway through, to prevent bits burning. Take this off again just before it's done, so the chicken and potatoes will brown nicely.
- If you make this for 2 people as I do, you will have leftovers, especially of the chicken. It's very handy to use for another dish.