This easy roast chicken earns the name “easy” as it uses chicken pieces rather than a whole chicken – meaning less time in the oven and no carving!
A roast dinner can be a bit of a struggle on weeknights, but this option makes it slightly more achievable.
Here’s a bit of a secret… I’m not a huge fan of roasts. In their most basic form, it’s just meat, potatoes and veg, and I’ve never been a meat and two or three veg kind of girl!
There need to be a few extra trimmings to entice me in. With roast beef, it’s Yorkshire puddings and a generous coating of cheese sauce on the broccoli.
In the case of this roast chicken, it’s apricot stuffing balls. You can leave them out, but there’s plenty of time to make them while the chicken and potatoes start cooking.
The crispy roast potatoes are not to be missed though. If you haven’t mastered the art of roast potatoes yet, give this method a go. It was passed on to me by my mum, who everyone says is the queen of roast potatoes!
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This easy roast chicken uses chicken pieces rather than a whole chicken - meaning less time in the oven and no carving! Serve with crispy roast spuds, stuffing balls and veggies.
PREPARE POTATOES AND CHICKEN
Preheat oven to 200ºC (390ºF) fan bake. Peel potatoes and cut into 3cm / 1.2in pieces. Place in a large saucepan, cover with cold water, then drain. Refill the saucepan with water. Boil potatoes for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, microwave butter until melted. Crush garlic, and zest and juice lemon. Add to butter with oregano and thyme. Arrange chicken pieces in a single layer on a large oven tray. Pour butter mixture over chicken and rub in. Season with salt and pepper.
Drain potatoes well and return pan to heat for 15-30 seconds to dry out excess water. Pour oil over potatoes and season generously with salt. Place the lid on and give the saucepan a shake to roughen up potatoes. Place in a single layer on a second oven tray. Bake chicken above potatoes for 25 minutes.
PREPARE STUFFING BALLS
In the meantime, finely dice apricots, apple and onion. Crush garlic. Melt a quarter of the butter in a medium-large frying pan on medium-high. Cook apricots, apple, onion and garlic until soft. Stir in remaining butter to melt. Remove from heat.
Add breadcrumbs, milk, egg, thyme and salt. Mix until well combined, then shape tablespoons of mixture into about 12 balls. When chicken and potatoes have baked for 25 minutes, switch the position of the trays and add stuffing balls to the tray with potatoes. Bake for a further 20 minutes, until potatoes are crispy, stuffing balls are golden and chicken is cooked through.
PREPARE SERVING INGREDIENTS
Slice carrots into thin rounds and cut broccoli into florets. Place in a microwave-safe dish. Just before chicken is ready, microwave for 3 minutes, until tender. Prepare gravy according to packet instructions.
Divide chicken, potatoes, stuffing balls and veggies between individual serving plates. Pour gravy on top.
WINE MATCH: An oaked Chardonnay.
GLUTEN-FREE OPTION: Use gluten-free panko breadcrumbs and a gluten-free gravy mix.
INGREDIENT SWAPS / NOTES: You can skip the stuffing balls for an even easier roast meal, but they definitely add a bit of yum factor! Apricots can be replaced with sweetened dried cranberries. Feel free to serve with whichever veggies you like. If you’re used to making your own gravy, that’s a good option too.
STORING AND REHEATING: For an easy work lunch, store individual portions in containers in the fridge and reheat in the microwave. However, potatoes are most delicious crisped up in a frying pan with a little bit of oil. Stuffing balls can be reheated in a frying pan too, but use a lower heat (or warm in the microwave first and then quickly pan fry) as they burn easily.