Greek Roast Chicken
The savoury odour of roast chicken and oregano is wafting around, and there is little else than can stir the appetite so effectively, and few things satisfy hunger better than a well-browned bird fresh from the oven. This simple recipe that I lifted from The Guardian has become a monthly staple – in fact it has entirely replaced the stodgy old stuffed chickens I used to serve. Not only is this an easy dish, but its satisfactions are equal to or greater than the charms of a stuffed chicken served with mash and gravy. I’m now getting used to the lemony chicken stocks that result from cooking the carcass.
Preheat the oven to 220C/425F
A 1.5-2kg chicken
Salt, pepper, oregano
1 small onion, peeled
1 kilo waxy potatoes (Desiree are good)
Juice of a lemon
A glass of white wine
Peel the potatoes and cut them into wedges. Juice a lemon and save the spent portions. Place the chicken in a roasting pan (I use an oval porcelain dish that holds the potatoes nicely against the fowl) and surround it with the potatoes. Pour the lemon juice and a liberal coating of olive oil over the chicken and potatoes. Peel the onion and place it inside the chicken with the spent lemon halves.
Sprinkle liberally with salt, fresh ground pepper and oregano, then pour a glass of wine into the pan – but taking care not to wash all the seasoning off the bird. Put the pan in the hot oven for 30 minutes, then turn it down to 190C/375F for a further hour. The potatoes will be delightfully soggy under the chicken and browned where exposed. Serve with marouli – a salad of julienned cos or romaine lettuce dressed with salt, vinegar and oil, in that order.