Lemon Myrtle is a native plant that adds a botanical citrus flavour to savoury and sweet dishes. It adds a brightness to this rich butter roasted chicken. The roasted red onions bathed in butter shouldn’t be skipped! I’ve paired this with a crunchy tangy pickled salad.
2.Trim off the top and base of the red onions. Peel off the papery outer layer, then slice horizontally into two rounds.
3.Lightly oil a roasting tray and place the red onions inside. Drizzle with olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper.
4.Rinse chicken inside and out under cold running water. Pat dry (including the cavity) with a paper towel. Place lemon wedges in the cavity.
5.Toast the lemon myrtle in a dry pan, until fragrant. Just under a minute or so. Allow to cool slightly, then blitz with the salted butter, 1 tbs olive oil, garlic and lemon myrtle in a blender or food processor.
6.Carefully loosen the chicken skin on the breasts, and fill with the around 4 tbs of the lemon myrtle butter. Rub the remaining butter all over the chicken.
7.Place chicken on top of the red onions and place in heated oven on the middle shelf. Roast for 1.5 – 2 hours, basting the chicken in the juices every 30 minutes. For the last 10 minutes, increase the oven temperature to 220c to brown the skin.
8.The skin should be golden brown, and the onions soft and jammy. To check if it’s ready, insert a clean skewer into the chicken. If the juices run clear, it’s done.
Tip: Save the butter dripping from the roasting pan in a jar and use it to brighten up a chicken stock; spoon through warm rice; or mop up with fresh bread and fry into croutons.
9.For the salad, wash the vegetables and pat dry. Slice cucumbers into ½ cm medallions. Set aside in heat resistant bowl or jar.
10.Trim the tops and tails of the radishes and slice thinly into medallions. Don’t add them to the cucumbers – place in a separate bowl.
11.Combine water, rice wine vinegar, caster sugar and salt into a small saucepan. Heat on medium-high until the sugar dissolves. Pour liquid over the cucumbers to cover.
Tip: For a tangy pickle, you can do this step the night before and leave it in the fridge overnight. For a light pickle, let it sit at room temperature while the chicken roasts.
12.When ready to serve, drain cucumber. Drizzle in a little olive oil and mix through the radish and shredded parsley. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
These yoghurty, herby spiced lamb chops will work with whatever herbs you have on hand and are exactly the kind of food you'll want to be eating as we head into the warmer months. Not that you'll have any leftovers, but if you do, they're a great addition to a leafy salad for lunch the next day, particularly when we're WFH. Grilled on the barby or pan fried, they won't fall short of providing a satisfying dinner for the whole fam.
Musakhan is a traditional Palestinian chicken meal that's served from one dish, for everyone to tear of bread and sandwich the tender, spiced chicken and onions in between. With the mild weather we've been blessed with, we cooked the chicken on the barby to give the whole dish a nice, toasty flavour but cooking it in the oven will works wonderfully too!