Pollo Asado con Patatas Bravas (Spanish Roast Chicken)
For the chicken
A whole chicken
12 thin slices of chorizo (I use the thin sausage ring type)
A handful of thyme
A handful of rosemary
A couple of teaspoons of sweet paprika
3-4 bay leaves
6-7 cloves of garlic
Sea salt & pepper
For the roast potatoes
5-6 medium potatoes
2 teaspoons of spicy paprika
Paprika flavoued oil from the chicken roasting pan
Sea salt & pepper
For the tomato salad
300g of tomatoes
1 tbsp. of chilli pesto
For the salsa
Chicken pan juices and garlic cloves
A good slug of sherry
300 ml. chicken stock
1 tsp. of corn flour
Remove your chicken from the fridge to allow it to reach room temperature and preheat your oven to 200°C. Remove the string from your chicken and carefully slide your fingers under the breast skin, push the slices of chorizo under the skin and pull the skin back up to cover the meat, you could use a toothpick to secure it in place.
Stuff your chicken with the whole lemon and the fresh herbs, then rub all over with a good slug of rapeseed oil and the sweet paprika. Place the garlic cloves in your roasting dish and sit your chicken on top of them. They will soften and sweeten during the roasting and will soak up some seriously tasty chicken juices.
Put your chicken in to roast for 30 minutes before reducing the temperature to 180°C. Continue to roast until the juices run clear (approximately 50 more minutes for a 2kg chicken).
1 hour before your chicken is ready, peel and chop your potatoes into medium sized chunks. Boil in salted water for 10 minutes. Meanwhile skim off 4-5 tablespoons of the paprika tinged oil from the chicken pan. Put into the bottom of a roasting tray and place in the oven to heat up.
Drain the potatoes and rough them up a bit in the colander, Toss them in the hot oil, sprinkle with spicy paprika and sea salt & pepper. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes or until golden and crispy.
When your chicken is burnished golden and the juices are running clear, remove from the roasting dish and place on a warm plate to rest for half an hour. Spoon any excess fat from the roasting tin and squeeze the garlic cloves from their skins. Mash them with a fork and stir in a good splash of sherry and 300ml. chicken stock (I unashamedly use cubes the majority of the time). Bring to the boil, mix the corn flour with a little water and add to the gravy. Simmer to thicken and reduce, season if needed.
Chop the tomatoes and stir through the chilli pesto. Serve with the chicken, potatoes and salsa.