So the beginning of this year saw the end of a two year relationship. And such is life. I never imagined at the time though that one of the greatest challenges this year would be dinner for one. Who knew that I would be so inherently lazy when it came to cooking solely for myself! When it’s just me and my furry feline critter, a night in usually means avo on a slice of rye with a squeeze of lemon, a soft boiled egg, or a tin of tuna and a bowl of Greek yoghurt… And that’s not to say that in my own special way, all of those things don’t make me one very happy woman! But once in a while, I like to indulge my love of cooking and invite some hungry friends around. Truly for me, it’s just not the same when you can’t share what you’ve made with others. So I thought, in the spirit of celebrating with loved ones, I’d share one of my home-cooked company-pleasers with y’all. I urge you to use it as an excuse to drink and be merry with your nearest and dearest! That said, happy Wednesday, one and all!
What you’ll need:
A whole chicken, preferably free range or organic
3 tablespoons of white balsamic
2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
A handful of thyme, ideally freshly picked from the garden
The juice of 1 lemon
A punnet of button mushrooms
3-4 carrots, depending on size
A punnet of courgettes
Olive oil for the vegetables
Prepare a marinade for the chicken with the mustard, white balsamic, lemon juice and brown sugar. Place the chicken in a relatively snug bowl and leave it to marinade for 3 to 4 hours, turning every 40 minutes or so.
When those hours are up, preheat the oven t0 190 degrees C. With a sharp knife, make incisions into the chicken and stuff the pockets you’ve created with the fragrant thyme. I usually place the chicken in a roasting pan and straight into the oven it goes while it’s still preheating.
Now it’s time to get onto the vegetables. Cut the courgettes and carrots up into bite sized chunks. The mushrooms I like to leave whole. There are few things I find more appetizing on a plate than whole roasted mushrooms! Once the chicken has been in the oven for roughly 20 minutes, add your vegetables and give them a generous coating of olive oil.
Turn the chicken regularly to ensure it’s nicely browned all around. If I’m honest, I’d have to say I seldom work with timers in my kitchen. Sticky, crispy chicken skin and the prod of a fork in a chunk of carrot tells me all I need to know!
Feature image: Dinner Table with Roast Chicken by Hanna Weil