The autumn weather has arrived – with winter close behind – and while I try to resist the cold, it’s inevitable. I beg the weather gods to be gentle. I refuse to put away my sandals and sunglasses. I might curse the morning cold with every 4 letter word I can think of. But short of moving away to some tropical island, it’s happening.
This weather begs for a cozy dinner, one that will warm up the kitchen when I open the oven door. Roasted chicken with crispy potatoes will serve my purpose well. I will find solace in the kitchen, warming up with each time I baste the chicken. I will shed the layers of blankets and sweaters that are draped over my body as my fingers and toes meet the warm air. The potatoes start crackling under the heat of the oven and my senses will become overwhelmed with the aroma of spices, garlic and lemon. And once the timer on my oven obnoxiously signals that it is time, I will be ready.
I will tear off the sticky, crispy chicken skin, exposing the tender and juicy meat nestled underneath. I love chicken skin and I realized that it may very well be my favourite part of a roast bird. Every bit of the chicken will not be left uneaten, between the ribs and tucked under the wings. I will receive every offering from the carcass. The crispy potatoes, with their crunchy outer layer and soft centre, will offer up a spicy kick as my tongue tingles and the smell of thyme wafts through my nostrils. Their purpose, to sop up the marinade that was left behind in the pan and on my plate, will be achieved.
And as my stomach finally surrenders, I will breathe out a satisfying sigh. The wind may howl outside, but I have survived another cold night.
I may never have to go out into the cold again. I will stay here, by myself, me and my roasted chicken.
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tbsp chilli flakes
- 2 garlic cloves
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 chicken, flattened
- 2-3 red potatoes, sliced thin
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp thyme leaves
- Combine the paprika (regular and smoked), chilli flakes, garlic, bay leaves, olive oil, lemon juice and salt into a food processor and blend until it forms a paste.
- Marinate the chicken with ¼ of the marinade overnight or up to 1-2 hours before cooking.
- Preheat the oven to 425F
- Toss the potato slices with the olive oil, thyme leaves and salt and place on a baking sheet, laying flat. Brush on ¼ of the marinade over the potatoes.
- Use 2 metal skewers to pierce the chicken to keep it flattened. Place the chicken over the potatoes, skin side down and baste with more of the marinade.
- Bake for 15-20mins mins, flip over the chicken and add more of the marinade. Bake for another 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
- Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before serving.
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