The perfect roast for a busy Sunday
Spicy roast chicken with Greek stuffing & freekeh is a winner for any friends or family gathering if you want flavour without the faff.
PREP TIME: 10 mins
COOKING TIME: 1.5 hrs
IDEAL FOR: Sunday roast, crowd-pleaser, family
It was set to be a pretty busy weekend.
And pretty big foodie weekend with friends coming to stay.
We’ve known this group of friends since the London days of ‘work-hard-play-hard’.
And we all excelled in the latter.
So, we’re looking at friendships that are around 20 years old (crikey, that does make me feel like I’ve been around a while).
We always have good catch ups throughout the year.
But obviously Covid put a dampener on that for the past 18 months.
And we missed T’s big 5-0 because of it.
In fact when restrictions lifted a little in Spring.
We did manage one catch-up but it had to be al fresco.
So we dutifully ate our lunch in the hail and rain in order to obey the max. 6 rule.
It was pretty miserable.
Glorious food and fun
So, this weekend it’s food and fun.
There was a party of 8 of us are heading into Dartmouth to Mitch Tonk’s sons’ restaurant, Cantina.
Where we ate like Kings and Queens.
And probably drank too much wine in all the excitement of seeing one another.
Oh, and where I cunningly handed over a long-standing ugly present.
Ah, what’s this??
The gift that (literally) keeps on giving (back and forth)
In a nutshell, it began when I was given the ugliest (and largest) Secret Santa present by T, back in 2004 or so.
We went to Bristol for a Xmas catch up and did the usual £5 pressies.
But when it came time to head home, and after our thank yous and goodbyes.
I snuck back up to the house and left my hideous Secret Santa present outside T’s door.
And so it began.
17 years and the joke keeps on giving…
17 years of passing this thing off as a nice present between 4 of us.
One of my best to date, was passing it off as a wedding present, nicely wrapped in Selfridges paper.
So, the key to ‘gifting’ this unwanted gift, is you’ll never know when you’ll end up with it.
And there is no rule of how long you keep it for.
So, years can go by and you’ve forgotten about it until, BANG!, it’s ended up in your hands.
Which is exactly what happened to me, a few years back.
And that is why, this special outing was the perfect way to hand it over without any suspicion.
I recruited the lovely (and obliging) chef and staff of the Cantina to help.
Where I had them bring it out at the end of the night as if it was a special birthday dessert.
The look on T’s face.
Money can’t buy that.
Sunday swoosh and roast
Next day… after congratulating myself some more on a spectacular, hand-off.
It was time for the Sunday Swoosh.
This is possiblly one of THE simplest pleasures in life.
It’s simply floating down (or up) a tidal river by Bantham.
You just float down (or up) with the tide… and swoosh!
Then, after a couple of swooshes.
You head to the little pub, The Sloop Inn, order a cold pint.
And chat about how wonderful that little swoosh is.
Then, back into the Landy’s.
And back to cook up a stunning Sunday roast with a twist.
Spicy roast chicken with Greek stuffing & freekeh
I love a traditional Sunday roast with all the veggies.
But sometimes, you don’t want to faff around with it.
Because you have to be more hands-on with a traditional Sunday roast to ensure everything is cooking to time.
Whereas, this recipe, just focuses on the chicken.
Then, you add in the freekeh – which takes on the roll of the carbs.
Which is as simple as adding it to the roasting dish with some stock where it absorbs all the flavours.
And then it’s just about adding some nice fresh greens to the meal right before you serve up.
So, for me, this spicy roast chicken with Greek stuffing & freekeh.
Is perfect for a busy day of activities.
And the Greek stuffing reminds you that we’re not completely done with summer sunshine.
Give it a go.
P.S. If you’re looking for other great Sunday roast chicken alternatives.
Then why not try this fab Coq au vin blanc
Spicy roast chicken with Greek stuffing & freekeh
- 1.8 kg whole free-range chicken
- 75 g feta, crumbled
- 2 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 75 g coarse country bread, torn into small pieces
- 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic,minced
- 2 tbsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (add more if you like hottier)
- 400 g freekeh (or orzo) (follow the packet instructions then add the freekeh as per the instruction in this recipe)
- 500 ml boiling chicken stock
- 1 – 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat the oven to 190°C.
- In a large ovenproof dish with sides, place the chicken and drizzle some oil over it then rub the cayenne all over the chicken along with the oregano and seasoning.
- Stuffing: Next in a bowl, mix the feta, tomatoes, bread, 4 tbsp oil, garlic and 1 tsp dried oregano. Then stuff this into the neck cavity of the chicken.
- Roast the chicken in the oven for 50 mins. Then remove from the oven. and add freekeh (or orzo) around the chicken and pour the stock over it.Put this back in the oven to cook for 20 mins but check during this time to make sure the freekeh isn’t drying out – top it up with a little boiling water if needed.
- After the 20mins the chicken should be cooked – check that the juices run clear, or use a meat thermometer – and the freekeh should be tender. with the stock absorbed (or close to it).(Rest the chicken for 10 mins to ensure the meat is tender and moist)Stir the fresh parsley into the freekeh and serve the chicken straight from the pan. Serve with some nice greens alongside.
Recipe inspired by Diane Henry