Chicken Dinner With a Double Life
Although this is three weeks too early, this recipe was recently pubished in The Jewish Chronicle Passover Supplement.
We have had several people come in brandishng copies of the recipe and several people searching for it on the site, as although it is chametz free, it is a great one dish wonder at any time of year. I am reproducing the recipe below to start giving you some ideas for the holidays and the chicken can be baked without the potatoes and onions etc if you are short on space and have a lot of people to feed. You won't get the delicious Greek-style lemony potatoes but you will be able to feed a bigger crowd!
Pesach aways makes me feel like I’m living the Simon & Garfunkel song as time keeps ‘Slip Sliding Away’ and the Chag seems to creep up on us ever more quickly each passing year. As the festivities fall over two weekends it means there is virtually a full week of packed lunches…sigh and after two days of matzo and cheese the novelty wears off and something more substantial is required. With this in mind, I’ve been hunting up recipes that will do ‘double duty’ as a hot supper and then as a cold lunch.
This simple dish can be changed and varied by adding red onion wedges in place of the potatoes or go crazy and use both, if you are not a fan of garlic just leave it out; similarly if you have a favourite chicken seasoning, swap it with the more prosaic salt & pepper. I am never very prescriptive with my recipes, as I only ever weigh and measure if I am making a cake, so the measurements given are approximates and should feed 4. The recipe will work just as well if you add another portion or two of chicken or double it up if you want to feed more people or have enough for twice. You want the vegetables close but not tightly packed, and the chicken similar but not touching, so the skin crisps and bronzes to perfection.
I have suggested that you use the solid heavy grill pan that comes with your oven but if you are only cooking 3-4 small legs a large roasting tin will work. I would still line the tin with foil, as when dinner is eaten and the remaining chicken has gone cold, I recommend decanting the leftovers into a lidded container, scraping the bones off the plates onto the foil and scrunching the whole lot up and into the bin. That way your tray/tin will (hopefully) be clean and will not require hours of scrubbing.
The beauty of this recipe is that it is just as tasty with seasonal green vegetables as with a mixed green leaf salad. I have made this almost as successfully with oranges, but I’ve used the juice of one and cut one smaller orange into slices.
Just remember to take the leftovers out of the fridge 30-40 minutes before you want to eat them so that it comes to room temperature, and the lovely sweet and lemony juices are free flowing enough to use as a dressing over your salad leaves and topped with a few toasted pine nuts or crushed hazelnuts.
LEMON, HONEY & GINGER CHICKEN
50ml mild olive or vegetable oil
3 tbs runny honey
3-5 cm piece of fresh ginger peeled and cut into matchsticks
leaves from 4 sprigs of rosemary
a few sprigs of thyme
1-2 cloves of garlic finely chopped or 3-4 left whole
a chicken cut into 1/8s or four thighs & drumsticks or breasts with the skin on
750g small washed new potatoes halved
or 750g large potatoes scrubbed and cut into cubes
or 4 large red onions peeled and cut into wedges
or a mixture of the two
freshly ground pepper
Heat the oven to 200c and line the grill pan of your oven with a double layer of foil. In a small pan combine the juice from two lemons, honey, rosemary, ginger, oil and garlic and heat gently until the honey has melted and it smells fragrant.
Spread the chicken over the base of the tray and tuck the potatoes, red onions if using them and thyme sprigs around the chicken. Season with the salt, a few grinds of black pepper and some paprika.
Cut the last lemon into slices or wedges and tuck around the chicken and drizzle the sauce over everything.
Roast for 55 -75 minutes until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and the potatoes and/or onions are crisp and golden.