Kate of A Merrier World is helping to draw attention to the plight of battery chickens through her blogging event, Let Them Eat Chicken. This is a fantastic cause which will hopefully help to prevent animal cruelty by making people more aware of the suffering of broiler hens. For more information about "broiler" rearing systems, please follow the link to Kate's event announcement.
For this event, Kate has asked us to post about our favourite recipe using free range chicken. My chicken came from Prahran Market in Melbourne. It was a lovely, plump, large bird, as you can see form the photograph below.
I was making dinner for company (my friend Veronica), so I have selected a scrumptious recipe for Spanish Roast Chicken by Jamie Oliver from his book, Jamie's Dinners. The resulting roast chicken is superb - the smoky, chorizo and lemon flavoured roast chicken sits on a bed of crunchy, lemon and chorizo flavoured roast potatoes, and the whole lot is superb! It is also relatively fuss-free to make. I served it with green beans dressed simply with salt, pepper and butter, and roast pumpkin, onion and carrot.
To make this dish, you will require:
1 free range chicken, ~2kg
1 kg potatoes, peeled and diced
200g cured chorizo, sliced 1/2 cm thick
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius. Boil the potatoes and 2 lemons in a saucepan of water for approximately 5 minutes. Drain the lot in a colander, and pierce the lemons all over with a sharp bladed knife. Put the lemons inside the cavity of the chicken, and season both the chicken and the potatoes with salt and pepper.
Line a baking tray with wetted baking paper. Put the potatoes on the baking tray in a single layer, and place the chicken on top. Sprinkle over the chorizo slices, spray or drizzle the chicken with cooking oil, and place in the preheated oven to bake for about 1 hour 20 minutes.
Once cooked, remove the chicken from the oven and set aside, then put the potatoes back in the oven for about 5 minutes to crisp before serving with the chicken and whatever side dishes you please.
This is a really delicious way to cook chicken. There is also no comparison between the luscious flavour and texture of a free range bird and a poor old artificially plumped up battery hen.