Roast Dinner with a Twist!
For the longest time I struggled with enjoying a roast dinner. Possibly because I grew up in Nigeria and coming to London was a huge adjustment for me food wise. I had never heard of a Yorkshire pudding and must admit, I’m naturally not a fan of white potatoes.
Aside from the obsession with rice most Nigerians have, I remember enjoying roasted corn from the high street and even better than that, roasted plantain which we fondly referred to as “Boli” (or “Bole” to some – not sure what the difference is!). Another thing I thoroughly enjoyed was white flesh sweet potatoes. It seems as though in the UK and the US, people are most accustomed to sweet potatoes with the orange flesh, especially when it comes to sweet potato fries. But honestly, the taste of the former is simply magical to me!
At some point last year, I wondered why I couldn’t simply combine all these flavours I loved and ingredients that were so nostalgic to me. These items could all be roasted and I could add the one thing I seem to love more than anything to it, which is chicken of course! I also season the chicken in a way that’s similar to how my mother used to do it. The real trick is butter and also ensuring you get that seasoning under the skin so you can really enjoy the flavour once it’s cooked! Nothing worse than amazing skin on a chicken but minimal flavour inside.
If you’re a vegetarian or would simply like some meat free meals instead, you can simply roast the vegetables in the recipe and serve it as a roast veg medley!
I can’t wait for you to tuck in and enjoy but even better than that, it’s a crowd pleaser and visually appealing so why not throw it together the next time you have people round for Christmas dinner, Sunday Roast, or even a dinner party? It’s great to go from oven to the dinner table and I promise, you’ll get requests to make it again and again.
Roast Dinner with a Twist!
The perfect way to kick your roast dinner up a notch! This brings flavours from around West Africa & some of the Caribbean to your kitchen table. Enjoy!
- 1 Medium Whole Chicken
- 1 Block Salted Butter (250g)
- 1 Large White Onion
- 3 Cloves Garlic
- 1 Handful Fresh Parsley
- 1 Handful Fresh Thyme
- 2 Stems Spring Onions
- 2 Scotch Bonnet
- 3 tsp Olive oil extra virgin
- 1 tbsp Honey
- 1.5 tbsp Salt or Chicken Stock Seasoning Cubes
- 2 Large Red Onions Peeled & Quartered
- 2 Large Plantains Peeled
- 1 Pack Cherry Tomatoes
- 4 Corn Cobettes
- 2 Large White Flesh Sweet Potatoes Peeled
- 4 Orange Flesh Sweet Potatoes Peeled
- 1 tbsp Sea Salt
- 1 tbsp Black Pepper
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius/350 Fahrenheit. My top tip for you here is to stick to the temperature given on the packaging of the chicken, but if all else fails, cook everything in life at 180 degrees or 350 Fahrenheit - haha!
Clean your chicken as normal and pat dry with a paper towel. This helps to ensure you have a nice crisp skin once it's done roasting.
In a food processor, add all the ingredients from the herbed butter group above and blitz until it is all combined. You can do this by hand in a pestle and mortar but it's much quicker in a food processor.
It also helps to have the block of butter at room temperature so you have a smoother consistency once done blending. If pressed for time, just chop it up and pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds.
Use the herbed butter mixture to season the whole chicken. You want to make sure it's all over the top of the skin but also try and get under the skin without damaging it too much. I also place some of this seasoning in the cavity/middle hole of the chicken.
Place it on a greased oven dish and pop it into the oven, cooking it for the recommended time on the packaging. Use a skewer to ensure juices run clear or better yet a meat thermometer to make sure it's done.
Extra tip: to avoid the skin getting burnt, after 15 minutes of cooking, place foil on the skin and then take it off 15 minutes before you take it out to rest.
Leave the chicken to rest for 10 minutes once done.
Cut the white flesh sweet potatoes into quarters. Then do the same for the orange flesh sweet potatoes, however because the latter cooks quicker, I would usually cut them into larger chunks.
Cut the plantains into angled chunks. Then cut the corn cobbettes into half.
Toss all these together in a bowl and add the olive oil, black pepper and sea salt.
Place in an oven dish and roast these for 25 minutes at 180 degrees celsius/350 Fahrenheit till half done.
Then add the cherry tomatoes and red onions to the dish, toss and place back into the oven for another 20 minutes, checking to see if done. Once all these are cooked, squeeze the juice of half a lemon on them.
If your oven dish is large enough, place the roasted veg around the chicken. Alternatively, you can serve this in separate dishes and enjoy!
Extra Tip: If you did have some extra herbed butter left, toss it over the roasted veg just before it's done - it works wonders!