Sometimes you just need your food to give you a big, warm, lemony hug to tell you that everything is going to be OK and that life is, indeed, as glorious as you think it is. Even when you’re having a bad day. Or, at least I do. It’s not emotional eating, or at least, I don’t think it is, rather finding comfort in the most basic of things – sharing a delicious meal with the person you love most.
So, when I finally got a few hours to cook something from the heart, rather than a slipslopslap mid-week meal (although, to be fair, my man spends far more time in the kitchen than I do during the week, but hey, he’s got a lot more time on his hands) I thought nothing is more warming, comforting, delicious or hug-enducing than a lemony roast organic chicken served with my nutty tabbouleh, homemade hummus and roast vegies. YumYumYum!
Here’s what I’m talking (but in real life, it looks and smells a thousand times better)…
Now clearly, as I peruse some of the recipes I’ve previously posted on this blog, we LOVE to eat chicken. And while I have explored the idea of going vegan thanks to Alicia Silverstone and her Kind Diet, I’m not quite ready yet. But, if you are a vegan and want to try something deliciously new on the non-carnivorous front, I highly recommend my nutty tabbouleh, as it’s super nutritious and really, really tasty.
But to start, I marinated the entire chook with garlic, paprika and oregano. Simply mix these three ingredients in a bowl with a little bit of olive oil to form a nice paste, and spread it all over the chicken. I took the marinade under the skin of the breasts as well, only because I don’t eat the skin and wanted the flavour on every morsel, rather than just the outside.
Next, I chopped a lemon into quarters and put half of it inside the chicken, squeezing as much of the juice as possible into the cavity as I went. The other half I simply popped on the baking tray to roast and get all sticky and yummy and gooey.
Now that the chicken was ready, I set it on top of a metal rack in a baking tray with a small amount of water at the bottom to keep it moist and help the skin get super crispy. I then chucked in some roughly chopped carrot, sweet potato, garlic and onion to cook alongside the chicken before placing it in a 180 degree oven for around 1hour 25 minutes. But of course, it depends on the size of the bird, so do the only skewer test to make sure it’s cooked all the way through before taking it out to rest.
While the chicken was baking I pulled out a large handful of parsley, some cashew nuts and a small handful of almonds and threw them into a food processor. Well, it’s more that mad little chopper that comes with the Breville Handheld Whizzer and if you don’t have one of these already, I HIGHLY suggest you get one right away. There super cheap and make everything from smoothies (with the handheld bit) to finely diced salads (with the chopper bit). Awesome! Once they were in there I seasoned with some whole peppercorns and rock salt and whizzed away, until all the ingredients were blended into the lovely little nutty tabbouleh – the perfect accompaniment to this dish.
Finally, I scooped a few spoonfuls of hummus onto the plate that we’d prepared a few days before, before pulling the chicken out and serving everything up for us to enjoy. Mmmmm!
For me, roast chicken is the ultimate pick-me-up meal and something we should all indulge in when we have a spare hour or so. It really is like a big, warm, lemony hug for your senses, and for that, it’s worth every minute of preparation and all three smoke alarm set-offs.
Tell me Happies…
What’s your ‘give me a hug’ meal of choice?
Have you got a secret roast chook recipe?
Do you have a Breville Handheld Mixer? If not, get one IMMEDIATELY.