Roasted Garlic Chicken with Orzo

IMG_7403 (1)An easy, tasty crowd pleaser for all the family and friends around the Sunday table tonight. Makes the house smell like a shrine to all things delicious and leaves you hands free to chat and love all around you. Rugby training is tomorrow so an easily absorbed carb is mixed with protein and vegetables to give fuel to the troops.

IMG_7396Autumn vegetables are roasted separately and added to the garlic orzo just before chunks of fragrant roasted chicken are plated to the table. Serve with a light gravy or jus. Orzo is a short cut pasta resembling a long grain of rice and is very versatile – add it to soups, salads or casseroles. It serves as a great change from the normals sides on a main course and you don’t need very much of it.

Infection fighting garlic gives this dish a wonderful aroma and a bang of vitamins to boot.

Roasted Garlic Chicken with Orzo – Serves 8

6 cloves garlic, minced or finely chopped

3 tbsp softened butter

1 x large organic chicken

seasoning to taste

Selection of vegetables to roast – heritage carrots,  cauliflower, broccoli, onions, more garlic cloves (8/10) – quantities to suit your gathering.

Carotino or coconut oil

300g orzo

100ml chicken stock

Gravy to serve

Heat the oven to Gas 6 (200dg). Mix the minced garlic with the softened butter and squash down between the skin and flesh of the chicken, over the skin and legs. Season well and cover lightly with foil – pop into the oven for the required cooking time – approximately one hour and a half should be about right. Remove the foil 20 minutes before the end to allow the skin to crisp and brown.

Meanwhile, chop your vegetables and pop into another roasting dish, toss in oil and roast on Gas 6 (200dg) for approx. 1 hour, moving them around occasionally to avoid scorching. Add the flimsier vegetables such as the broccoli 20 minutes before the end as otherwise they’ll dry and burn.

Take the chicken out to rest under some foil and a tea towel. Rest for about 20 minutes before carving into large chunks – I usually cut the breasts into approx. 3 pieces as a guide.

When the vegetables are done, separate the garlic cloves from their friends and squeeze out the soft buttery garlic cloves from their skins. Mince these and set aside.

Boil a large pan of water and add the orzo, adding the stock to the water for flavour. Follow the cooking times on the packet – ‘should be about 10 minutes – and be careful not to over cook. Drain, then mix with the minced roasted garlic and pop onto a warmed serving platter.

On go the roasted veg and on top place the garlic chicken chunks. Sprinkle with herbs and plate at the table. A warming, fresh and nutritious end to the week.

Have a good one! Karen x

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