There is truly something magical about throwing ingredients into a big baking dish, pouring over some cider before roasting and then having nothing much more to do. There may look like a long ingredients list for this roast chicken recipe, but honestly? This is pretty much a weekly meal in our house. Served up with cous cous and a side salad, it also works well to serve when people come for dinner as it can feed a crowd and is child friendly.*
Aside from the complex sweet and salty flavours which form as this dish roasts and the ingredients melt together, the thing I like most about this recipe is one dish. Dinner dishes are not my thing, give me a meal that requires one dish and I’m pretty much sold. We don’t get much of a winter in Brisbane, but as the weather finally cools and red wine replaces apple cider as the drink of choice, the cider goes into this warming winter meal instead. It’s a combination of a few roast chicken recipes I have had over the years, including one from Natalie of Tea for Six.
Cider Roasted Chicken
This is a recipe with everything: the kids love it, friends love it, it's easy to make, it all happens in one dish.
- chicken breast, cut in half on an angle: 800 grams
- bacon rashers: 10
- green apples, cut into wedges: 2
- red onion, cut into thin wedges: 1
- sweet potato, peeled and cubed: 700 grams
- garlic cloves, finely chopped: 2
- oregano sprigs, leaves removed: 2
- pitted prunes: 1 cup
- pitted olives: ½ cup
- baby capers: ¼ cup
- olive oil: ¼ cup
- apple cider vinegar: ¼ cup
- brown sugar: ½ cup
- apple cider: 1 cup
- rocket or baby spinach (to serve)
Step 1: Preheat oven to 220°C fan-forced.
Step 2: Wrap each piece of chicken breast in a bacon, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Step 3: Add all other ingredients except cider to a large baking tray and season well with salt and pepper. Mix until all ingredients are well combined.
Step 4: Arrange chicken pieces in a single layer on top of sweet potato mixture. Pour cider over and roast for 30 minutes.
Step 5: Remove chicken to plate and cover plate with foil to rest.
Step 7: Return baking dish to oven and roast until sweet potato is starting to colour and a thick, glossy, delicious sweet and salty sauce forms. Mix through rocket or baby spinach.After dinner, just try and not stick your wooden spoon into the pan and scrap off all the gooey goodness. Oh and yes, that is indeed a personalised wooden spoon – best teacher present idea ever!
* When I say child friendly I mean, like every single thing I serve up, sometimes my kids think this is the best meal ever and sometimes they pick at it and whine about sweet potato touching chicken, or it being too salty, or too sweet or too mushy, or too hard…you know the drill.
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Images: Megan Daley