What can be simpler than a sheet pan roast? For easy midweek suppers or Sunday roasts, this Rosemary and Paprika Roast Chicken is ridiculously good. Marinated in rosemary, garlic, lemon and cumin and just enough chilli to warm things up, it couldn’t be simpler. That Nando’s bird is going to have to step it up a notch. Oven roasted with sticky red onions and a splash of white ’cause chicken loves a splash of wine loosen up those marmitey bits stuck to the pan. This juicy bird gets a herb and butter basting just before serving.
Marinating is key to getting flavour into the chicken so don’t negate this step. Overnight is best, but several hours will do if time is short. To speed up the cooking time, spatchcock the chicken. If you’re not too keen on this step fills, roast the chicken as you’d normally do but increase the cooking time to 1 hour and 15 minutes. To check if the chicken is cooked through, pierce with a skewer between the thigh and leg. The juices should run clear.
Dominant flavours are rosemary, paprika and chilli. I’ve added a drizzle of honey for sweetness and to get a deep caramelisation on the skin. The herb butter is not essential but enriches the taste. Thrown into the tray to roast alongside the chicken are red onions wedges. They render into a soft onion-like jam. Carve into portions and serve with these roast sweet potatoes or a Greek salad. For the perfect wine pairings, whether it’s chicken, fish, red meat or even dessert, visit Michael Olivier’s site for recommendations and expert advice.
Rosemary and paprika roast chicken
For the marinade
1 garlic clove, bruised (crushed)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 stems rosemary, de-stalked and finely chopped
zest and juice of 1 lemon (about 45ml)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried red chilli flakes
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly cracked black pepper
1 free range chicken, spatchcocked
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 red onions, cut into wedges
1/3 cup dry white wine
generous handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
several stems fresh thyme, de-stalked
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
pinch of sea salt flakes
- To make the marinade, place all the ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Place the chicken on a wooden board with the breast-side facing down and the legs towards you. With a kitchen scissor or very sharp, smooth bladed knife cut down on either side of the backbone. Remove the centre bone and turn the chicken over. Press down on the centre to flatten.
- Place the chicken in a non-metallic dish. Pour the marinade over and rub into the chicken. Cover and refrigerate overnight. I usually turn the chicken over half way through the marinating period so that the flavour penetrates evenly.
- Preheat the oven to 200º C. To prevent sticking, I spray the baking tray with non-stick cooking spray. You can also line it with parchment paper or foil if you’re not big on washing up! Season the chicken with sea salt on both sides and place on the tray, skin side up.
- Drizzle the onions with 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and a generous pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. If you’re not avoiding sugar, add 1 teaspoon brown sugar which’ll give help to caramelise the onions. Scatter the onions around the chicken. Add 3 tablespoons of water to the tray to prevent the marinade from burning.
- Roast for 30 minutes. Spoon the pan juices over the chicken. Pour the wine into the pan around the sides, but not over the chicken. Return to the oven and continue to roast for another 20 minutes. To get a dark and crispy skin, grill for several minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven, cover with foil and rest for 10 minutes before carving.
- For the herb butter, place all the ingredients in small bowl and stir to combine. Brush liberally over the chicken. Any extra herb butter can be served on the side.