Paprika Roasted Chicken

Happy New Year to you all! And with the New Year comes a whole new stash of delicious recipes that I have in store for you. I may have had an extended break from blogging over the festive period but that isn’t to say that I haven’t been whipping up a storm in the kitchen and eating some absolutely stonking meals to share with you in blogs to come (if I may say so myself). Now I’m sure many of you are on the compulsory New Year health kick campaign but I’m afraid to say that mine is being delayed somewhat, as we still have a fridge full of chorizo and cheeses and cupboards full of crisps and chocolates, and being the anti-waster that I am I can’t bring myself to throw them away to start a fresh. But as always, my philosophy to a healthy lifestyle isn’t to limit your eating or go on crazy diets but to simply cook good food from scratch and achieve at least your 5 a day. This chicken may be smothered in butter but it goes a long way in the portions and teamed with some healthy and nutritious sides this can still be a good recipe for the dieter out there. Why not toss it into a tasty salad, use it for some Mexican Style wraps (oozing with salsa and guacamole) or pull it apart and add it to a tomato sauce with roasted Peppers and Courgette’s, delicious stirred into pasta or topping a sweet jacket potato. A roast chicken doesn’t have to come with roast potatoes and all the trimmings (although it is still awesome enjoyed in that fashion). If you can make one food resolution this year it should be to buy less ready meals and jars of sauces and really get into the joys of home cooking; as it’s healthy, fun and oh so delicious!

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For the belly

  • 1.8kg chicken
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 chilli – sliced in half
  • Small bunch of basil
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and smashed
  • ½ onion

For the Roasting Tray

  • 1 ½ onions – sliced in half
  • 1 green pepper – de-seeded and cut into quarters

For the Butter Skin Stuffer

  • 75g butter
  • 2 cloves garlic – finely chopped
  • 2 tsp smoky paprika
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 180’C

Lay the onion halves and the pepper in a roasting tin and place the chicken on top

In the inside of the carcass place the half lemon, chilli, basil, garlic and half an onion

Mix together the ingredients for the butter and with a sharp knife make a small slit at the top of each chicken breast and at the top of each thigh

Use your finger to wiggle the skin away from the chicken meat so that it is easy to stuff

Using a pinch of butter at a time, push it into the slit you made and rub it in underneath the skin.

Rub the chicken in some sea salt and cover with foil

Bake in the oven for an hour

Remove the foil and baste the chicken; return it to the oven for another half an hour to crisp up.

Give the chicken a poke with a shark knife and if the juices run clear then it’s cooked

Once cooked, remove the chicken from the oven and rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Enjoy in whatever way takes your fancy, we enjoyed this with some salad, cous cous and pita breads – just whiz the leftover juices and veg from the roasting tin with 2 tbsp of mayonnaise for a delicious sauce to go with it (maybe omit this part if you’re on a diet though)

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