Lemon Roast Chicken with Pumpkins and Potatoes

Lemon Roast Chicken with Pumpkins and Potatoes

Lemon Roast Chicken with Pumpkins and Potatoes by The Writing Cook

I honestly didn’t plan on having a dinner party a couple of days ago. Mid-week dinner parties are never the best idea, I think, and it ends up becoming a stressful affair. However, I had the perfect excuse; two friends were going to be in town that night, and I couldn’t resist taking advantage of the opportunity to host them to dinner. I also invited my two neighbours Latika and Melodie (who has recently moved to Chennai from Pondicherry). I ended up being so organised that I lazed for a couple of hours before heading off to change.

We decided on an outdoor party; for those of you who are familiar with the residents of a typical garden in Chennai during the summer, you are probably wondering if I took leave of my senses. I didn’t! I ended up drawing a chalk line around the patio to prevent ants from wandering onto it, and spritzed the leaves of the plants around the patio with a solution of vinegar and water. I hung up little mason jar lanterns and lit soy citronella candles to keep the bugs at bay. We ended up having a very pleasant evening, and the only intruder was the neighbour’s fat cat who decided to saunter over and beg for some chicken.

I don’t exactly blame him; the chicken I ended up serving was gorgeous. It was beautifully succulent, delicious, and well-flavoured. It’s the first time I’ve attempted my own roast chicken recipe, but rest assured I will be making this one over and over again. It really is that good!

Lemon Roast Chicken with Pumpkins and Potatoes by The Writing Cook

Recipe: Awanthi Vardaraj

Yield: One roast chicken

Ingredients:

For the chicken:

4 lemons, cut into halves

6 cloves garlic, peeled

1 4-lb free range chicken

1/2 cup olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

For the veg:

Half of a small pumpkin (I used golden nugget); peel and cut into 2″ pieces

6 cloves garlic, peeled

8 small new potatoes, halved and quartered

2 red onions, peeled and halved, each half quartered

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup rich chicken stock (I cheated and used a cube)

4 tablespoons butter

Method:

1) Preheat the oven to 180 C or 190 C. Rub the oil all over the chicken and stuff the chicken with the cut lemons; tie the chicken’s legs with kitchen twine.

2) Grease the roasting pan and sit the chicken in the pan, breast side up (the way it is in the picture).

3) Season the chicken with the salt and pepper and put it into the oven to roast for 60 to 80 minutes, or until the skin is golden. Take the chicken out.

4) Meanwhile, in another dish, gently combine the rest of the ingredients together, and spoon them around the chicken (after the 60 minute mark). Don’t forget to season!

5) You may omit this step if you wish, but I squeezed a little extra lemon juice onto the chicken itself at this stage.

6) Put the chicken and the vegetables back into the oven for another 25 to 35 minutes (this depends on your oven; I had to roast mine for around two hours because mine tends to run a little slow sometimes) until the vegetables cook and go soft.

7) Before serving, spoon the liquid from around the chicken onto the chicken and the vegetables; untie the twine and transfer the chicken and the vegetables to a deep dish platter. If you carve the chicken before you serve it, make sure that everyone gets enough of the sauce and the vegetables.

8) I’d recommend you serve this hot, but it tastes just as delicious cold, and the leftovers are fantastic in a sandwich the next day!

9) Sit back and be adored.

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