As the end of term approaches, I plan my meals around using up all my fresh food, as well as my frozen meat, fish, and bread. So imagine my recent surprise as I rummaged through the freezer, and clapped eyes on a bundle of frozen chicken breasts I’d completely forgotten about. Three of them, carefully sealed in freezer bags, sat buried underneath my substantial supply of frozen peas. Thinking I had none left, and not being inclined to stock up with only a few weeks left, chicken hadn’t been on the menu for quite a while. Pleasantly surprised, I dug one piece out to defrost, and set to browsing the web for chicken recipes.
The first to appear on my screen seemed to tick all the boxes, through a providential gift of fate. Lemon and chicken isn’t a combination I had previously tried, but one I could taste clearly beforehand; and I do love the heartiness of roast chicken and potatoes (clearly missing my regular Sunday dinners.) The recipe is here, but I’ll post it as I made it myself.
You’ll need (to serve one hungry student):
- one skinless, boneless chicken breast (you can use chicken thigh – in which case I’d recommend leaving the skin on, as it is delicious)
- a large baking potato
- half a lemon
- a clove of garlic
- 1tsp dried rosemary
- 1tsp dried oregano
- cayenne pepper
- olive oil
- vegetables to serve: I added a sliced, slightly withered green pepper to the tray, but anything would compliment nicely: courgette, green beans, peas, carrots…
The method is brilliantly simple. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius, and line a roasting tray with tin foil – believe me, when you see the state of the foil after you’ve removed the cooked potato and chicken, you’ll appreciate this foresight.
In a small mug, make the dressing. Mince the garlic, and mix with a good splash of olive oil, the juice of the lemon, a pinch of salt, pepper, dried herbs, and cayenne pepper to your liking. Incorporate well.
Chop up the potato into small chunks, and arrange in the tray. (The smaller the pieces, the quicker they’ll roast.) Slice the vegetables and place to one side. With your hands, coat the potatoes with half of the dressing. Slide the tray into the oven for ten minutes.
Remove the tray, and place the chicken breast beside the potatoes. If roasting vegetables, slot them into any available space. Coat the chicken and veg with the roast of the marinade.
In with the tray for another half and hour; half way through, turn everything round.
When the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes crispy on the outside, but soft in the centre, plate up and serve with a little natural yoghurt, and a wedge of lemon, if you like.
The herbs, cayenne, and lemon make a great combination, and add a lot of flavour. I do like my food spicy, so went for a generous amount of cayenne; the yoghurt provided a nice cooling-off. This recipe is easy to bulk up for additional people, and makes for a satisfying Sunday dinner.