I love a Sunday roast. The meat, the potatoes, the cauliflower cheese - excuse me while I drool a little. There's just something about a Sunday that warrants a nice big hearty meal with all the traditional trimmings (and some non-traditional ones if you like). I mean, you can't beat golden, crispy, roast potatoes.
But sometimes you have the chicken and it's been a busy week and you haven't got any stuffing left, or you can't face peeling potatoes, or you just want to shove the chicken in the oven and not think about all the other bits that have to go with it or else mutiny ensues. Take today for example, it's pouring outside and I for one am not leaving the house. The Mr. can do what he wants but I'm staying put. Do I have cauliflower? No. Do I have Yorkshire puddings? No. Will I make a roast dinner? Probably not.
BUT, why waste the chicken? We all know that leftover roast chicken is great for so many things and so many work-time lunches. Just because you can't make all the trimmings you'd normally have doesn't mean you can't still roast the bloomin' chicken. I made a Middle Eastern inspired Roast chicken with sides that leave you full without making you feel lethargic and waddly (ok that word is made up). This is the easiest recipe I think I have ever posted and will ever post.
Za'atar Roast Chicken
1 large whole chicken
6 sprigs rosemary
3 cloves garlic, skin on, crushed
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp za'atar (Palestinian if you can get it)
1 tbsp salt
Preheat an oven to 180 degrees C. Stuff the chicken with the garlic and grapefruit. I cut the grapefruit in half again just to make it fit. Stuff 4 of the rosemary sprigs in the chicken and put the other two under the skin.
Put the bird in a roasting dish. Rub the chicken with the olive oil and salt. Sprinkle the za'atar over the chicken evenly. Put it in the oven and just leave it for an hour. After an hour it should be crispy on the outside and juicy and succulent on the inside. If the skin is still a bit soggy, tip the chicken so the juices run out into the tray and put it back in the oven for 5-10 minutes just to crispen up.
Serve this with some nice bread; arabic pitta, focaccia or a nice crusty French loaf, and a nice fresh and filling salad.