It was one of those days, that chicken was on the menu. Roasted chicken with potatoes is a weekly staple in my house. Kids like it, grown ups like it, dog likes it. This time I had to try something new. My kids are my worst nightmare when it comes to food, so I had to make something not too strange or new to their taste buds. So I squeezed lemons, I chopped onions, I mashed garlic, I poured in the wine, emptied the mustard jar and went overboard with the pepper mill. I also drank some of the wine.
It was one of those “drumming” moments when I put it on the table. I waited for the first comment. Silence. No conversation what so ever. Just the clicking sound of forks and knives. I served it with rice and a green avocado salad. When I took the first bite, I thought “this is good!”. I was sure this chicken was a keeper. Lemony, moist and flavourful with a gentle heat from the black pepper. The onions, mellowed and sweetened. The pan juices were so delicious; it was no surprise to see my young “judges” reaching for the sauce over and over again.
So I asked: “Did you like the chicken?” Judge #1: “Yes”. Judge #2: “Yes, but tomorrow we eat pasta”. Judge #3: “Of course! After all, YOU cooked it!” Guess who got the extra scoop of ice cream?
For the marinade
- 4 Tbs thick Greek yogurt
- 3 Tbs Dijon Mustard
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 2 Tbs maple syrup
- 1 Tbs coriander seeds, crushed
- 2 tsp crushed black pepper
For the chicken
- 1 whole chicken
- 6 large onions, sliced
- About 12 thyme sprigs
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 cup chicken broth
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Make the marinade by mixing all ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside until needed.
Butterfly the chicken by cutting in half with kitchen shears, starting from the tail and ending at the neck. Turn the chicken over (skin side up) and press down with your palms to flatten as much as possible. With a sharp knife make 1 cm deep slashes on the chicken thighs and 2-3 on each breast. This will help the marinade penetrate the meat. Turn the chicken over (skin side down) and season with salt and pepper.
Spread the onions in a baking pan. Season with salt and pepper. Scatter the thyme sprigs all over the onions. Place the chicken on top of the onions, skin side up. Pour marinade all over chicken making sure it penetrates the slashes. Cover loosely with foil and let chicken marinade for 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 200 C. Remove foil and discard. Pour wine and chicken broth over the onions, around the chicken. Roast for 1 hour and 10 minutes (depending on the size of your chicken), basting twice, until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear.
Let chicken rest for 15-30 minutes before carving and serving with the pan juices and the onions. Serve with rice.