Lazy Sunday Roast Chicken

Oh my, the rain, the wind. It’s getting us down. But do we complain? Well…yes…we do a little bit if I’m honest. What we also do is draw up plans for building an ark and cook some comfort food. This was last weekend’s Sunday lunch and if this weather continues we may have a  repeat performance again tomorrow!

I don’t think I can really claim this to be a recipe, as it just involves chopping, seasoning and putting something in the oven. But if you need inspiration for a family meal, or a meal for 2 with leftovers for another day (or two) then look no further.

Winter Roast Chicken (6)

This was lunch for a lazy Sunday. The sun finally came out for a few hours, after rain, storm and high winds. It was still blowing a bit of a gale so we headed to a nearby park instead of the beach where the pups could let off steam.  We all got thoroughly muddy but returned home with “roses in our cheeks” and “the cobwebs well and truly blown away” (as my grandmother used to say of walks in the sunshiny cold of England). We also returned home to the delicious smell of roasting chicken and a toasty warm kitchen. Perfect!

Ingredients (to serve 4 hungry adults)

  • 1 chicken weighing about 2kg
  • 4 carrots, 2 parsnips, 1 red pepper, 1 yellow pepper, 1 large sweet potato, 2 sticks of celery, half a fennel, a red onion, a white onion – all vegetables peeled and chopped into large chunks
  • 1 head of garlic, cloves separates but not peeled
  • About 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • A small glass of white wine (or water)
  • 1 tablespoon of za’atar
  • 2 lemons, halved
  • Salt and pepper

Put all the vegetables and the garlic into a deep oven tray (line it with foil to save having to scrub the pan). Season with salt and pepper and pour over 2 tablespoons of the oil and the glass of wine and mix with your hands.

Winter Roast Chicken (3)

Sit the chicken on top of the vegetables, massage the rest of the oil into the chicken then season and sprinkle the za’atar over. Rub the seasoning in all over the chicken and put the halved lemons into the chicken cavity.

Cover well with a tent of foil and cook in a medium oven (about 180 degrees C fan or 200 degrees C normal oven) for 2 hours. Uncover about half an hour before you have finished cooking to brown the skin.

Winter Roast Chicken (8)

Leave to rest for 10 minutes before serving and make sure to spoon all the lovely juices over the meat and vegetables when you eat.

Leftovers (you know how much I love having leftovers) went into sandwiches and a delicious chicken and vegetable soup.

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Smokey Pork Belly Strips with Roasted Vegetables

Pork belly is a big favourite in our house but from reading recipes and comments on other lovely blogs, I’ve realised that not everyone can get hold  of whole pieces of pork belly. In fact, in Spain I have to ask the butcher to not slice it up as it’s also more typical to sell belly slices.

Smokey Pork Belly (3)

Usually pork belly slices are barbecued in Spain but here in the UK in December the weather doesn’t really lend itself to outdoor cooking – not that I wouldn’t grab the chance if the weather was perfect at the right moment!

I wanted to use belly slices and to try to recreate some of the smokey flavours in my kitchen without setting off the smoke alarm and causing panic amongst the neighbours. Easy…use the oven Chica!

Ingredients (to service 2)

Turn oven on to almost the highest setting

  • A mix of root vegetables cut into large chunks (I used sweet potatoes, potatoes and carrots)
  • An onion cut into thick slices and about 6-8 whole garlic cloves
  • 6-8 pork belly slices
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of mustard powder
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of smoked pimentón or paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil

Put all the vegetables with the onion and garlic into an oven tray, season, drizzle well with oil and mix to ensure all the vegetables are coated.

Rub the pork belly slices in the mustard powder and the pimentón and season lightly.

Cook the vegetables in the oven for about 20 minutes until the vegetables start to soften. Lay the pork belly slices over the top of the vegetables and continue to cook for about another 20 minutes or until the pork belly is browned and crisp.

Enjoy with a warming glass of red wine and if you have any vegetables left over, add some stock the next day, blitz and enjoy a delicious roasted root vegetable soup.

For another pork belly recipe, check out my Smokey Pork with Pimentón and Peppers or Crispy Pork Belly with Stir Fried Cabbage.