Roast Chicken with Crispy Chorizo

This is a totally fabulous recipe from Nigella Lawson’s book Kitchen (one of my favourite recipe books – see my review for the full run-down). It’s golden, greasy and bursting with flavour; perfect for a night in when you really fancy a feast.

2-3 chicken thighs
Half a chorizo
2 medium-sized potatoes
An orange, for zesting
Dried oregano
Olive oil, salt and black pepper
Sweet peppers, to serve – a mixture of colours or just one if it’s all you’ve got

Serves 2.

This is a gloriously simple dish, but it does need a good while in the oven, so make sure you allow enough time (don’t make the mistake I do of only starting to prepare a meal when you actually feel hungry)! First, put the kettle on to boil, and get the oven preheating to 180˚C (160˚C if you’ve got a fan oven). Peel the potatoes, chop into rough chunks and boil for about 10 minutes, with a pinch of salt. Then drain them and, holding the lid on firmly, give them a really good shake to fluff up the outsides. This is the key to really crunchy roasties.

Next, get a roasting tin that’s just the right size – if in doubt, go too small rather than too big, as that makes sure all the lovely juices stay squashed in with the ingredients rather than dribbling out to the edges of the pan. Put in a splash of olive oil and rub the chicken pieces in it, skin-side-down, then turn them over. Sprinkle the skin well with black pepper and salt. Add the potatoes, making sure (as far as possible) that they are all in contact with the bottom of the pan – if they’re all piled up, then the ones on the top just kind of get steamed, rather than going crispy. You don’t need to add any more olive oil because the chorizo will release plenty.

Roughly slice the chorizo (make sure the lumps are decent-sized, rather than thin slices) and scatter these across the pan. Finally, sprinkle the whole thing with oregano and grate over a couple of teaspoons of orange zest. Stick the tin in the oven and set a timer for one hour. Halfway through, take the tin out and baste the ingredients with the lovely orange chorizo juices – essentially, that means scoop up the oil with a teaspoon and sprinkle it over the chicken and potatoes.

About fifteen minutes before you want to serve up, turn the grill up to full whack and stick the peppers under it. Turn them as the skins blacken – don’t worry, you want them to burn. If your oven and grill are combined, just wait until the full hour has passed, then move the roasting tin down to the bottom and do the peppers at the top. Once the peppers are blackened on all sides, carefully peel off the burnt, papery skin and strip the seeds out of the middle, then slice. Serve up a chicken thigh with a generous helping of golden potatoes and crispy chorizo, and a pile of lovely sweet grilled peppers, and wash it down with a glass of red wine. Bliss.