“Citrus Chicken Rested in Herbs” from “Nothing Fancy”

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times (and also, I’m quite sure I’m not the original author of this aphorism): Roast chicken is the Little Black Dress of cooking.

If you have it on a Sunday, it’s the linchpin of your Sunday Roast. If you have it on a weeknight, the meal suddenly becomes more of an event. Also, once you’ve made it a few times, you realise how easy it is, how many variations you can try, and how it’s always delicious. Win. Win. Win.

This version by Alison Roman features citrus and herbs– the clue is in the name, after all. The exciting part comes at the start when you have to cut a chicken in half, which I had never done before. I just imagined myself to be a magician doing it and it made the task even more fun. (It’s actually not that hard; you just need a good knife.)

After marinating the chicken, you roast it, but since it’s already cut in half, the roasting is quicker than with a traditional roast chicken. The marinade is delicious, and, not surprisingly, very citrusy.

My only question was what to do with all the slices of citrus– they’re hard to see in the photo above, but trust me, they’re there– underneath the chicken once it was roasted. Alison wasn’t clear in the recipe. Were we meant to eat them? Were they garnish? Who could say. So we left them.

The chicken was great and the dinner was delicious. The Little Black Dress of the culinary world triumphs again.

“Citrus Chicken Rested in Herbs” from “Nothing Fancy”

“My Favourite Citrus Cake” from “Stirring Slowly”

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Tom: Well, this is epic! It’s moist, but it’s sort of crystalline and crunchy, too. Yum.

Kirstin: That’ll be the golden caster sugar. Let’s not talk about the amount of sugar in this recipe though.

Tom: Is that you not talking about it?

Kirstin: …

Tom: Ah, yes. It is. Well, this is great. Would anyone like to split another slice with me?

Kirstin: …

Tom: Damn.

Kirstin: So should I take the rest of this into work then?

Tom: NO!

“My Favourite Citrus Cake” from “Stirring Slowly”

“Citrus and Za’atar Chicken” from “Sirocco”

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Kirstin: I knew I wanted to make this recipe as soon I opened the book.

Tom: Why’s that then?

Kirstin: I’ve never made anything with za’atar before, even though I have the spice in my cupboard. So I’ve been curious about it for a while.

Tom: And what do you think of this recipe?

Kirstin: I love the flavourings. But the chicken is a little dry.

Tom: I love the little accompaniments you’ve made here too which make it less dry. So what are in these bowls?

Kirstin: One has harissa in it. The other is greek yoghurt with some minced garlic and salt. They do work well with it, don’t they?

Tom: I love harissa.

Kirstin: Ha! I know you too well.

“Citrus and Za’atar Chicken” from “Sirocco”