I work full time. My dreams of becoming a yummie-mummie and staying home all day baking fabulous cupcakes and rearing my own chickens will just have to wait until I win the lotto. So, sometimes it’s hard to find time to spend in the kitchen. Much as I enjoy cooking, on weekday evenings it can be exhausting and weekends can sometimes be super hectic. Plus I hate cleaning up, life is just too short for cleaning up.
But a few years ago, while flipping through The Guardian, I found a recipe by Hugh Ferning-Whittingdale that changed everything . I duly clipped it out, and boy has it served me well on many a lazy (read hungover) Sunday afternoon. It’s as simple as throwing everything in a roasting dish and popping into the oven, but it tastes as good as if you had slaved over a hot stove for hours. And, there’s very little cleaning up to be done afterwards. Brilliant.
Roast Chicken with Sweet Potatoes
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp honey
¼ tsp chilli flakes
1 chicken (jointed) or 1.5 kg (3 ½ lbs) of chicken thighs, legs or breast
650 g (10 oz) sweet potatoes, pealed and cut into 1.5cm cubes
1 red onion, pealed and cut into eight
1 orange, pealed and cut into eight
1 whole bulb of garlic broken into cloves but not pealed
3 sprigs of rosemary
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oven to 200 °C.
Whisk together the oil, vinegar, soy, honey and chilli. Turn the chicken in this mix and leave to marinate for a about an hour.
Then toss the sweet potato, onion, orange, garlic and rosemary in with the chicken. Tip the lot into a roasting dish and season generously with salt and pepper. Bake for 40-45 minutes, turning once, until the chicken is cooked through and the sweet potatoes are tender. Serve with boiled rice.
Easy and delicious. Sweet and a little bit sour with a nice warmth from the chilli. But, I think the best part of this dish is the roast garlic cloves. They burst open in your mouth with yummie, slightly sweet, garlicy deliciousness. It’s a great way to cook garlic and it’s not as strong a flavour as you’d think. The Fella has been teasing me a lot, as recently I’ve started to throw whole cloves of garlic in with everything. If it goes in the oven, it gets garlic-ed! Keeps the vampires at bay.
So take back your Sunday, relax, make this and enjoy.
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Tava tender lovin’ lamb
Pasta with feta spinach and pine nuts
Pumpkin and rosemary risotto