Cooking the veggies around the chicken is great because they soak up the juices and flavour of the bird, including the flavours of the spices on top. This is great for a weekday supper, as a whole chicken is often cheaper than fillets, and tastes better cooked on the bone. I love fennel with roast chicken, the tangy aniseed taste marries up really well with the chilli and lemon and cuts through the fat of the chicken skin.
1 large whole chicken
1tsp dried fennel seeds
1tsp dried chilli flakes
Bulb of garlic
Salt and pepper
1 whole lemon
3 bell peppers
Place the chicken in a roasting pan, halve the lemon and place in the cavity. Sprinkle with the spices, thyme leaves, salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil.
Place in a preheated oven (180c).
Chop the peppers and courgettes into large slices. Break the garlic into cloves (don’t peel).
Cooking time will depend on he size of your chicken, a large chicken will usually take about 90-120 minutes. The veg needs 45 minutes, therefore 45 minutes prior to the chicken being ready, scatter the veg around the chicken, including the cloves of garlic, a decent handful of olives and whole cherry tomatoes. Toss them in the juices from the chicken.
You can tell when the chicken is ready because the juices run clear and also the bones of the leg turn and break free of the meat easily.
Once done, allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes, give the veg a good swirl in the juices and return to the oven to caramelise further.
Serve with couscous or rice!