For a new twist to your traditional Christmas home roast, why not try a Mediterranean one.
Living and working in the Middle East esp. the cosmopolitan Dubai, you get to meet a whole lot of people from all over the world.
I have a fair share of friends from all over the Middle East. Learning their cultural cuisines was one of my favourite learning. So I did get a lot of recipes and tips from them.
This one is for the adventurous YOU who just doesn't want a traditional Christmas roast but exploring each year and wow-ing your guests and loved ones each time.
What you need:
For the Marinade
- 1 lemon
- 1 cup of Tomato paste or puree
- 1/2 tbsp paprika
- 1/2 tbsp coriander powder (freshly powdered from coriander seeds)
- A mix of herbs such as Marjoram,Oregano,Sumac,Thyme and Rosemary
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder (freshly powdered from cumin seeds)
- 1 tbsp Salt
- Whole spices such as Bayleaf, Cinnamon, cloves
- 5-6 Garlic cloves - crushed
- 4-5 medium sized potatoes (skin-on), cleaned well
- 1200 gms chicken (skin-on)
- Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 2-3 tomatoes, chopped
- Shallots/Onions, chopped
Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 15 minutes | Roasting Time: 1-1 hr and 20 minutes
1.Boil the potatoes with a few stabs in between (no need to cut them now) until half boiled. You can added carrots or other veggies too if you like.
2.Slit the chicken on all sides esp. legs taking care not to cut too much into the meat. On a non-stick roasting pan, add 2 tbsp EVOO, and brown the chicken on all sides, esp the legs as they take longer to cook.
3.Then wait for the chicken to cool down a bit and then add the whole spices in the roasting pan around the chicken. Also place the shallots around in the pan. Rub the marinade well on the chicken and in the cavity and into the slits made earlier.
4. Boil a lemon whole for 5-10 minutes. The larger lemons (not available here) need 10 minutes. Next stab in a couple of times around the lemon and stuff it into the cavity of the chook.
5. Toss in the boiled potatoes cut in quarters.
6. Roast chicken on wire rack (optionally) with the same roasting pan below at 150°C for an hour and then up to 20 minutes on 180°C breast side facing down until the skin is nicely crisp.
7. Meanwhile, to prep the roasted potatoes crush 5-6 cloves of garlic using a mortar and pestle (you can also use an electric grinder) add a little EVOO and further crush to a creamy garlic paste.
8. Add a dash of salt and marinade chopped tomatoes with the creamy paste. When the chook is ready, place the potatoes on a serving dish, pour the garlic paste with tomatoes and some of the juices from the roasting pan.
9. Add some lemon juice from the lemon from the chook's cavity and toss well.
Serve the roasted potatoes on the side of the chicken with some hummus and white rice if you need.
Bon Appetit! Hope you liked our Mediterranean style Christmas Chicken roast!
Try G'Gina's Kitchenette's Hummus recipe here