My neighbour and my friend’s son just turned 18, lovely boy, and like me the dude loves food; from pounded yam to everything! He has told me once or twice, actually more than 3 times that he loves my juicy and succulent chicken roast, so to welcome him into adulthood I decided to host him and his family for Titilolami’s special roast chicken, and in the process share my recipe with you guys.
It has taken me years to perfect this recipe. If you have any questions ask, but remember, I’m a cook, not a chef, so I will not give you recipes with exact measurements, please use your judgements, intuition and preferences. But most importantly ‘Trust the process’ please don’t put any spice I have not specified. This really means – No curry. No Thyme. No crayfish!!
You need to get the roast chicken and the potatoes right, once you do, the rest is easy. I always serve my roast with home-made coleslaw or vegetables but I’m not going to teach you how to cook vegetables! should !?
This roast has been tailored to the preferences of Nigerians, as I mostly cook for Nigerians who tend to prefer a lot of flavour.
So let’s start with the chicken – Buy the best whole fresh chicken you can afford. For me this usually means free range. If you can’t find free range just buy a whole but fresh chicken. Some people will say marinate it the night before bla bla bla, sorry but on a Saturday night I’m either in a bar or at a restaurant enjoying my life. The two must have seasonings for your chicken is ginger and garlic. If you haven’t got either don’t bother. If you don’t like either you are not ready. And only fresh ginger and garlic will do. Use a whole clove of garlic, even more if you want, and use a lump of ginger – don’t be scared of garlic and ginger in this dish. You must grate these two condiments. Do not chop them, please grate or crush your garlic with a garlic crusher. Once grated or crushed use your hands to rub the garlic and ginger into every nook and cranny, including the chickens cavity. Cut a whole onion into the chicken’s cavity (Nigerians don’t do stuffing’s). Then add knor, knor chicken to be precise. For a whole chicken use up to 4 cubes. I like the extra flavour of black pepper so add black pepper, but again it must be crushed peppercorns not the flavorless powder. Now add Nando’s peri peri marinate sauce. This sauce is sold in all major supermarkets, add half a bottle (keep the other half, we will come back to it). Rub the marinade in, turn the chicken around and get all the seasoning worked in. Now squeeze half a lemon all over your chicken. rub a little butter or olive oil all over the chicken.
Now pre-heat your oven, gas mark 5, after 5 mins put your chicken on a rack with a tray underneath to collect the juices; i prefer to face the breast down so that the juices run into what is the toughest part, keeping it moist. Keep it at gas mark 5. Turn your chicken over after 30 minutes. Cook it for approximately an hour twenty minutes. Now bring it out of the oven. Strain all the chicken stock into a big bowl/dish. Make sure it’s a dish you can place back into the oven e.g a le Creuset– carve your chicken but remove all the stuffed onions – bin the onions. Put the chicken into the dish the stock is in, now pour in the rest of Nandos Peri Peri Marinade. Also add the Nandos peri peri extra hot sauce – a whole bottle. Place your chicken back in the oven and cook for a further 15 mins – the juice of the stock, mixed with the peri peri sauces will work and cook through beautifully – This is the gravy – a super gravy! This recipe is amazing – as long as you don’t start putting thyme or curry or crayfish!! Nigerians!!
Roast potatoes: I very rarely come across people who make roast potatoes right, even at restaurants, actually they don’t work at restaurants because roast potatoes can’t hang about, so timing is everything, you want to serve immediately its cooked. Anyway this is so simply just trust me and follow the process – don’t use any old potatoes you come across in a supermarket – go for Desiree or I like Maris Piper from Marks and Spencer. While you are at Marks and Spencer, buy their roast potatoes seasoning (its divine). Now peel your potatoes and per boil them, per boil means just that, do not thoroughly cook them. Drain the water and season with just the Marks and Spencer seasoning now give it a shake and roughen up the edges for that crisp taste. Leave to one side. Now pour some oil in your baking tray, you must use a shallow tray for this. You need the heat to be high, very high, this is the trick to get it crunchy on the outside but fluffy on the inside! so turn it up Highhhhhhh! I usually roast on maximum heat. Once the oil is piping hot and I mean it must sizzle! now tip your potatoes in, spread them around and roast till brown on the same high heat, turning at least once, it always turns out delicious.
Vegetables – whichever tickles your fancy, I love peas and carrot but seriously I’m not going to teach you how to prepare vegetables!! (Steam don’t boil). If you do try, and love this recipe please thank me on the blog!!
Coleslaw – please stop buying supermarket coleslaws! bloody hell – grate your carrot and cabbage, add a bit of onion, add mayoinase full fat, a dollop of salad cream, a pinch of salt, and my secret is a dash of honey mix all these together and you will thank me!!
Come on girls and boys, try this next Sunday!!