When I was growing up – alas, several decades ago – a meal of roast chicken was something of a treat, reserved for birthdays and other special occasions. Today’s children would find that difficult to believe but this was in the days before large-volume production of hens.
We like a roast chicken as much as the next person but we only go the whole bird when we will be serving it to a table of four or more. Our menu is busy and room has to be made for other favourites. So, our everyday chicken roast is just two maryland pieces.
In warm, salad-friendly weather, we flavour the chicken overnight with a marinade built around our homemade berbere spice mix; more on that later in the year. While the weather is cool, Maggie makes up a paste of olive oil, chopped preserved lemon (flesh and skin), crushed garlic and black pepper. This is pushed into three cuts she slashes across each maryland.
Last week – the last of the calendar winter – brought sunny days in Melbourne, followed by cool nights; we were able to roast the chicken in our Weber Q. We added a few whole kipflers, which I had par-boiled for about 12 minutes, and a beetroot and carrot parcel. (The recipe for the latter can be found on my post Braised duck with a red wine sauce.)
The meal was completed by a green salad of homegrown leaves, just-cooked fresh peas, chopped mint, slices of Lebanese cucumber and homemade vinaigrette dressing.