Moroccan Roast Chicken and Vegetables

This is another of the recipes that I created for the recent Lurpak Butter Challenge competition (along with my Pina Colada Cake and Spaghetti with Mushrooms, Thyme and Butter Sauce). The result is a very tasty, juicy roast chicken and vegetables with flavours of Morocco.

The butter both under and over the chicken’s skin keep it moist, and makes great pan juices to use as gravy. The slow roasting also helps the flavour and I find it is a much more relaxed way of cooking.

Ingredients – serves 4:

  • 125g/4oz salted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1.6kg/3.5 lb whole chicken
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 500g/1 lb medium white potatoes, cleaned and quartered (peeled if desired)
  • 300g/11 oz butternut pumpkin, de-seeded and cut into chunks (peeled if desired)
  • 1/2 red onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 200ml/7 fl oz salt-reduced chicken stock
  • green beans or peas, to serve

Method:

  • Heat the oven to 160C/140C fan forced/320F.
  • In a small bowl mix the butter with the ground cumin, coriander and paprika.
  • Rinse the chicken under cold water, pat dry with a paper towel, then place in a roasting dish.
  • Using your fingers, carefully separate the skin from the chicken’s breast at the neck end, without tearing the skin. Then push about a quarter of the spiced butter under the skin.
  • Repeat the skin separation at the other end of the chicken and use another quarter of the butter.
  • Smear the remaining spiced butter liberally all over the chicken (both sides).
  • Place the 1/2 lemon inside the cavity.
  • Ensure that the chicken is sitting breast-side up in the roasting dish, then place the vegetables around the edges.
  • Mix the garlic and the stock in a jug, then carefully pour over the chicken and vegetables.

  • Cover the dish in foil and cook for 1 hour.
  • Remove from the oven and use tongs to rotate the vegetables.
  • Then cook without the foil for 50 minutes, basting with the pan juices halfway through and at the end of that time.
  • Turn up the oven to 220C/200C fan forced/430F, and cook for another 20 minutes. Test that the juices run clear.
  • Remove the chicken from the roasting dish, put on a plate and cover loosely with foil. Leave to rest for 10 minutes before carving.
  • Meanwhile, turn off the oven and put the roasting dish containing the vegetables back in to keep warm whilst the chicken rests.
  • Serve the chicken and vegetables with some of the pan juices drizzled over them.
  • Enjoy!
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