Oven Roasted Spiced Chicken

So many recipes, so few days in the month.

With over 800 recipes to choose from, Charmaine Solomons – The Complete Asian Cookbook – is proving to be quite the challenge as  The Cookbook Guru book of the month.

Lucky for me, a friend tagged a few of her favourite recipes. Thanks Sue S.  This was definitely a fine recipe to tag.

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A simple yet amazingly tasty meal to prepare.

I ended up using a whole chicken instead of pieces. Just cut out the backbone and flatted the bird by pushing down on the breast. It cooks faster and more evenly  than leaving it whole.

I added a couple of other ingredients too.

Oven Roasted Spiced Chicken.

1 free range whole chicken (or 1.5 kg chicken pieces)

3 cloves garlic – minced

2 tsp grated fresh ginger

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

4tsp five spice powder

1 red chilli – finely chopped (optional, we love chilli)

4 Tblsp light soy sauce

3 Tblsp peanut oil

1 Tblsp dry sherry

2 large potatoes cut into slices 5mm thick (optional but delicious)

In a bowl mix together the garlic, ginger, salt, pepper, five spice, chilli, soy sauce, peanut oil and sherry. Pour over your chicken and leave to marinade in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

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Spread the potato slices in a roasting dish (which I cover with foil or baking paper for easy cleaning). Lift the chicken out of the marinade and lay it, skin side down, on top of the potatoes. Pour the marinade over the chicken.

Roast in a pre heated 180 c oven for 30 minutes, turn the chicken over (skin side up) and cook for another 30 minutes.

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The skin will be crispy and the potatoes will have soaked in all the delicious juices and be cooked to perfection.

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chicken cacciatore

Imagewell, my version anyway.

Around where I live, it’s really hard to come by chicken pieces that are free range. Unless of course you go to the bigger supermarkets, where you can buy chicken that’s been portioned, put on a meat tray and covered in plastic wrap. Nothing wrong with that, but where possible, I try and buy my fruit and veg from an independent greengrocer, my fish from a fish market and my meat from a butcher.

As for the chicken, I buy a whole one and portion it out myself ( it really isn’t that hard). I use the pieces I need for that nights meal and freeze the rest.

For last nights meal, I bought a Bannockburn free range chicken, and used the merryland (the thigh with the drumstick still attached). Season well with salt, pepper, cinnamon, smoked paprika and cumin.

In a cast iron pan or heavy based saucepan with lid, heat a little olive oil  and brown off the chicken.Take the chicken out and set aside. In the same pan throw in 1 thinly sliced leek – pale part only, 5 big cloves garlic – roughly chopped, 1 small brown onion – peeled, cut in half and thinly sliced, 1 celery stalk – diced and 2 rashers bacon – diced.Image

Cook for about 2 minutes until everything is soft. Add 4 sprigs fresh thyme, 6 fresh sage leaves, 1 cup white wine (I used Tempus Two Verdelho, cause that’s what we were going to drink when all the cooking was done) , 6 swiss brown mushrooms – cut in half,1/2 teaspoon sugar and about 250g canned diced tomato.Image Put the chicken pieces back into the pot and turn them over in the sauce. Turn the heat down to low, cover and let simmer for about 1 hour, stirring the sauce every now and again.

Feeling a little lazy and not wanting to dirty too many saucepans, I cooked some brown rice and when it was nearly done, I threw in some chopped green beans. What…it worked. That’s one less saucepan to wash up…..very important when you’ve had a few glassed of wine.Image

Enjoy….