I make roasted chicken all the time. I find it such an easy and simple meal to whip up. Cut up some vegetables and throw on some spices and you are generally good to go.
I love Piri Piri chicken, in Portugal you can find delicious spicy flame grilled chicken at a churrasqueiras. There are also some really great spots in Montreal and Toronto. Sadly in Ottawa, we don’t really have any standout places. I think the closest most people have experienced is Nando’s, but it is not the same.
This recipe is not a flame grilled BBQ recipe by all means, but it is my Portuguese spin on the humble roasted chicken. The chicken has a wonderful dry rub of piri piri, garlic powder and oregano flakes. You can find different variations of a piri piri dry seasoning at many grocers. My current spice rub is one that I brought back from Portugal. When I travel I often go to grocery stores and bring back some spice blends. You can find some of the most authentic flavours for cheap prices. Some people buy shot glasses, I bring back herbs and spices!
One of the best things you can do is to stuff your chicken, it really helps the flavours absorb into the chicken. I stuffed this one with garlic, thyme and lemon. I also spread a few of the lemon wedges around the vegetables since I am a sucker for all things lemon.
3-4 medium yellow potatoes (or add more sweet potato)
Preheat the oven to 450F.
Chop a lemon in half, set one half aside and slice the other half into 4 quarters.
Peel cloves of garlic and smash them a bit with your knife.
In a small ramekin or bowl, add the piri piri, garlic powder and oregano flakes to create your dry rub. Stir together.
In a ramekin or small bowl, add ghee. If it is not room temperature heat for 10 – 15 seconds to slightly soften. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and add in a few fresh thyme leaves. Mash together.
Rinse the chicken and pat dry and place in a roasting pan.
Grab the ghee mixture and rub it underneath the chicken breast skin, rub the the remaining ghee inside the cavity and around the chicken.
Drizzle the chicken with 1 tsp of avocado oil and season with salt and pepper. With your hands rub half of the dry rub over the chicken. Flip the chicken and repeat with another tsp of avocado oil, salt, pepper, and the rest of the dry rub.
Stuff the cavity with the garlic cloves, 2 lemon quarters and a handful of thyme. Seal the cavity with the half of the lemon that was set aside. Try and keep it as sealed as possible and fold over the chicken skin around it. Tie the chicken legs to help keep it closed.
Place it in the middle rack of the oven, breast side up, for 25 minutes.
While the chicken is cooking, peel and chop your sweet potatoes, yellow potatoes, carrots and celery. Chop into 1 inch chunks.
After 25 minutes, remove the chicken and flip it so that it is now breast side down. Add the vegetables around the chicken. Drizzle with 2 tsp of avocado oil and season with salt and pepper. Cut the remaining lemon quarter in half and spread the 4 small pieces on top of the vegetables. Top with some sprigs of fresh thyme.
Place the roasting pan back in the oven, reduce the heat to 425F and cook for another 35 minutes. My chicken was 3.5 pounds and this was perfect. If your chicken is larger you will have to increase your cooking time.