Darina Allen’s Roman-inspired one-tray chicken and chips

Kitchen Cabinet: Use an organic chicken and fresh herbs for this tasty treat

Roman chicken and chips,  from One Pot Feeds All, by Darina Allen.

Roman chicken and chips, from One Pot Feeds All, by Darina Allen.

 

When I’m travelling, I’ve always got my ear to the ground to find interesting new ideas and delicious things to eat. This recipe comes to you from Rome. When I last visited the city, food writer Katie Parla made me a long list entitled Mustn’t Miss ... Among her recommendations was Gabriele Bonci’s reinvention of pizza at Pizzarium. Bonci trained as a chef not as a pizzaiola. His philosophy of quality without compromise produces sublime sheet pan pizzas.

Katie is bang on. They are the best, and I mean the best I ever tasted anywhere, even in Napoli. It should be on your Rome list too, that’s if any of us ever manage to get there again. The crackly crust is made from a mix of organic heirloom flours, spanking fresh seasonal toppings, deliciously seasoned and scissored into slabs to eat on a bench on the street.

As well as this knockout pizza, Bonci’s Pizzarium also sells breads, cookies and some prepared food, and it was there I saw this great big roasting tin of what I now call Roman chicken and chips. Customers queued up to buy portions. The chicken skin and edges of the chips were crisp and golden, with melted onions, juicy meat and deliciously soggy potatoes underneath.

This is a dreamily comforting supper, all cooked in your trusty roasting tin, perfumed with rosemary and thyme. It’s become a family favourite and one of the most requested recipes from my One Pot Feeds All book, published by Kyle Books. I use an organic chicken from Mary Regan in Wexford.

We use Setanta potatoes but Golden Wonders or Kerr’s Pink would be good too, and Irish onions if you can get them. If you haven’t already got a pot of rosemary and thyme near your kitchen door, the past few weeks will have taught us the value of self-sufficiency, and that simple straightforward family-style home-cooking is what we all seem to crave nowadays.

Darina Allen is co-founder of Ballymaloe Cookery School.

Roman chicken and chips with rosemary and thyme

Serves 8-10

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Ingredients

2kg organic, free-range chicken thighs, drumsticks and wings
2-3 tbsp thyme leaves
1-2 tbsp chopped rosemary
1.1kg (about 10 large) potatoes
Extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle
250g onions, sliced
Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

1. Preheat your oven to 230°C/450°F/Gas Mark 8.

2. Season the chicken heavily with salt and pepper. Put into a large bowl and scatter with the thyme leaves and chopped rosemary, reserving some for the potatoes. Toss well.

3. Peel the potatoes and cut into 1cm thick chips. Dry and season well with salt, freshly ground black pepper and the reserved thyme and chopped rosemary. Add to the bowl with chicken. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and toss once again.

4. Scatter the sliced onions over the base of a roasting tin, approximately 37 x 31 x 2cm, or two smaller tins approximately 30 x 20 x 2.5cm. Arrange the chicken and potatoes haphazardly on top, making sure that the potatoes are popping up. Drizzle with a little more olive oil.

5. Roast for 45-60 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the chips are crispy at the edges. (Organic chicken pieces are larger, so cooking time can be longer.)

6. Serve from the tin, family style, with a good green salad and several vegetables of your choice, if you wish.

Tip: You can add a little hot homemade chicken stock at the end, if the dish needs a little more juice.

Kitchen Cabinet is a series of recipes from chefs who are members of Euro-toques Ireland who have come together during the coronavirus outbreak to share some of the easy, tasty things that they like to cook and eat at home #ChefsAtHome

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