It’s best to use a nice free-range or organic chicken for this dish, or the best quality bird you can afford. I love the idea of the tasty vegetables in this recipe getting a whole lot of love. If you like, a mint sauce would make a great accompaniment. Pretty delish!
Roast chicken with couscous
- 1 x 1,75kg organic chicken
- 1 lemon, halved
- olive oil, to taste
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 5ml (1 tsp) ground cumin
- 2 red onions, peeled and quartered
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
- 500ml (2 cups) water
- 200g roasted red peppers from a jar, drained and roughly chopped
- 5ml (1 tsp) smoked paprika
- 15ml (1 tbsp) ground coriander
- 250g couscous
- a few sprigs of fresh mint, leaves picked and chopped
- extra virgin olive oil, to taste
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place your chicken on a chopping board and make some deep crisscross slashes in its legs with a sharp knife. This helps the salt and spices to flavour the meat, and it also helps to cook the chicken a little bit more quickly.
Stuff the lemon halves inside the chicken, rub the skin with olive oil, salt, pepper and the cumin. Place the chicken in a roasting tray and pop it in the oven.
After 15 minutes in the oven, turn the heat down to 180°C and add the onion and carrot to the roasting tray. Roast for another hour, shaking the tray now and then, until the chicken is cooked. (The chicken is cooked when the thigh meat pulls easily away from the bone and the juices run clear.)
Carefully lift the chicken onto a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Spoon the vegetables onto your chopping board and chop them roughly, then tip them back into the tray and place on the heat. Add the water and then scrape all the lovely sticky bits off the bottom of the tray with a wooden spoon.
Add the peppers, paprika, coriander and couscous to the tray. Pull the lemon halves out of the chicken with a pair of tongs and squeeze the juices into the tray. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat off and leave to rest for 5 minutes or until the couscous has absorbed all of the water. Fluff up the couscous using a fork and stir through the mint and a good glug of extra virgin olive oil.
Cut the chicken into joints and serve on a large plate on a bed of the tasty roastvegetable couscous.
To drink: Ataraxia Chardonnay 2007’s mineral backbone will cut through the richness of this dish; its spiciness will complement it.