Roasted lemon chicken with home-made couscous
This lemon chicken brings a beautiful flavour to the kitchen. The flavour that has the power to transport us, make us feel special, nostalgic and a sense of comfort. Yes, we all love roast chicken!
Roast chicken takes me back to my childhood days, sitting around a table with my family on Sundays. Being brought up on a farm, we only had chicken on Sundays. Does everybody grow up believing their mother cooks the best roast in the world? It’s certainly how I felt as a child.
We most often serve this fabulous roast chicken with home-made couscous. It’s a perfect partner to the tender chicken and beautiful pan juices. Quinoa can be used as a gluten-free option.
Roast chicken is the simplest of meals, yet so comforting and delicious.
2 teaspoons thyme leaves
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
1 lemon, halved and sliced in 1 cm slices
1 onion, halved and sliced in 1 cm slices
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 chicken, backbone removed and butterflied
½ cup dry white wine
the juice of 1 lemon
FOR THE COUSCOUS
1 cup home-made couscous
2 sprigs thyme
1 tablespoon butter
½ teaspoon salt
500 milliliter boiling water
Prepare all your ingredients
Preheat the oven to 220C.
Place the thyme and fennel seeds in a mortar; slowly move the pestle in a circular motion, pressing down to crush them. If you don’t have a mortar, move a chef’s knife over the seeds and leaves, pressing down to crush them. Add the salt and pepper and whisk into the oil. Set aside.
Distribute the lemon slices in an oven-proof skillet or oven-proof dish just big enough to hold the chicken. Distribute the onion and garlic slices on top of the lemon. Pat the chicken dry with kitchen paper and brush the herb mixture all over the chicken. Lay the chicken, skin side up, on top of the lemon and onion and roast for 30 minutes. Pour the wine into the skillet (not over the chicken) and roast for another 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, add the butter to the boiling water in a small sauce pan. Bring the water back to a boil and add the couscous, salt, butter and thyme. Remove from the heat and let it stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the oven, sprinkle with lemon juice and cut the chicken into quarters. Serve the chicken with the pan juices, lemon and onion with the couscous.