Friday, August 2, 2013

Miss Kitty Bakes: Slow cooked lemon and garlic chicken

When I think of winter, I think of long slow braises and soft unctuous roasts that spend hours and hours in the oven. We spend a lot of time with the oven on in this house - the benefits of which are twofold: 1. we get lovely, yet easy food and 2. it keeps the kitchen snug and warm.

This delicious Nigella Lawson dish is no exception: minimal fuss, high reward for effort and a lovely warm kitchen to boot. And it reheats very well so you can spread the three minutes worth of effort over two meals. It seriously can't get much better than that!

We sometimes make this with a whole chicken cut into pieces, or marylands, or chicken thigh pieces on the bone. It's a very forgiving dish. And a delicious one. It's a winter staple in this house. Give it a go!

Nigella Lawson's Slow Roasted Lemon and Garlic Chicken

1 chicken (approx. 2.25kg / 4½lbs) cut into 10 pieces
1 bulb of garlic (separated into unpeeled cloves)
2 unwaxed lemons (cut into chunky eighths)
1 handful fresh thyme
3 tablespoons olive oil
150 ml white wine
Black pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3/325ºF.

Put the chicken pieces into a roasting tin and add the garlic cloves, lemon chunks and the thyme; just roughly pull the leaves off the stalks, leaving some intact for strewing over later. Add the oil and using your hands mix everything together, then spread the mixture out, making sure all the chicken pieces are skin side up.

Sprinkle over the white wine and grind on some pepper, then cover tightly with foil and put in the oven to cook, at flavour-intensifyingly low heat, for 2 hours.

Remove the foil from the roasting tin, and turn up the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6/400ºF. Cook the uncovered chicken for another 30-45 minutes, by which time the skin on the meat will have turned golden brown and the lemons will have begun to scorch and caramelise at the edges.

Serve the chicken straight from the roasting tin strewn with your remaining thyme alongside yummy roasted potatoes and a green salad.

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