HARISSA SPICED ROAST CHICKEN WITH HASSELBACK POTATOES
This delicious alternative to roast chicken has flavours reminiscent of North Africa. The recipe is gently spiced, however use more harissa for a pronounced spicy taste. Serve with hot with Hasselback potatoes and roasted vegetables or cold as part of a sharing platter with giant couscous, griddled aubergines with yogurt, salad and dips. Many thanks to AGA Specialist Dawn Roads for this recipe.
3 onions, sliced
2 bulbs of garlic, cut in half
Salt and black pepper
1 x 2kg DukesHill free range chicken
1 onion, peeled and quartered
1 small lemon, halved
3 cloves of garlic, cut in half (no need to peel)
A handful of parsley
2 tsp Harissa paste
2 cloves of garlic, grated
1 tsp cumin seeds
1½ tbsp rapeseed oil
6 baking potatoes – Maris Piper, King Edward or Sovereign – of equal size
Rapeseed or olive oil
Salt and black pepper
1. Place the sliced onions into the base of a roasting dish, put the halved garlic bulbs into the corners, and dribble some oil over the garlic. Season.
2. Remove any trussing string from the chicken and pull the legs open. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the quartered onion, lemon halves and parsley. Place on top of the onions.
3. In a small basin mix the harissa paste, garlic, cumin and rapeseed oil. Brush all over the chicken. Leave the chicken for about an hour to reach room temperature and the spices to marinade into the meat.
4. Slide the roasting dish into the roasting oven on the lowest set of runners. Roast for about 1½ hours. If the breast of the chicken is browned to your liking cover the top with a piece of foil or small piece of Bake-O-Glide. To check if the chicken is cooked, pierce the thickest part of the thigh and if the juices run clear then the chicken is done, if still pink cook a little longer. Alternatively use a meat thermometer.
5. If serving as a hot roast, remove the chicken to a warm platter and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Make a sauce with the onions, garlic halves and juices in the roasting dish, adding a little chicken or vegetable stock and more harissa if you like. Sieve the sauce and serve on the side.
For a sharing platter, cook the chicken in advance, so it is served cold. Slice the chicken and/or cut into portions. Serve on an AGA Wooden Board with giant couscous, griddled aubergines with yogurt, salad and dips.
Tip: With larger chickens, start off the cooking process with the chicken upside down for 40 minutes then turn it over to finish cooking, this ensures the underneath is browned and juices run down into the breast.
1. Clean the potatoes, leaving the skin on. If necessary cut a sliver from the base of the potatoes so they will ‘sit’ level on the baking tray. Cut each potato downwards into slices around 3mm apart and three-quarters through the potato. For ease of slicing put the potato between the handles of two wooden spoons this means the depth of the slices is controlled.
2. Line a baking tray with foil.
3. Use your clean hands to roll each potato with the oil and place each onto the baking tray. Season with salt flakes and ground black pepper.
4. Slide the baking tray into the centre of the roasting oven and bake for 1½-1¾ hours until the potatoes have opened up and cooked through. After an hour dot the butter into the opened up potatoes. Timings may vary dependent upon the size of potatoes and the number. Test with a skewer to see if they are done to your liking.
Tip: Flavourings can be added, such as garlic and rosemary or paprika or harissa paste.