Saturday, February 22, 2014

Tanzanian Inspired Roast Chicken and Chips... plus a baby kale salad recipe

I first had something similar to this meal in Tanzania.  We were at a mountain camp and the cook prepared this amazingly delicious and simple chicken and chips.  It had been cold and rainy for days and this dish just really warmed us! The chicken was not from some happy chicken that we often saw, it was from a sad chicken we bought at Shop Rite.  I'm not even certain it had been refrigerated the few days before we ate it!  Despite all that, it was the best chicken and chips we had ever had.  To get this most enjoyment from this meal, eat with your hands!

Roasted Chicken with all the yummy condiments. Pictured: Pilipili, ketchup, mayonnaise, roasted peppers and onions and oven fries.  Also some pomegranate seeds in a glass…

Roasted Chicken

1 small free-range chicken, preferably less than 4 lbs.
Garlic, paprika, salt and pepper
Lemons and whole garlic cloves
sunflower, grape seed or olive oil

Cover your bird with oil and season it with salt and pepper, paprika, minced garlic and any other spice that sounds good.
Stuff the bird with more salt and pepper, a lemon half or 2 and some garlic cloves. 
Cook the bird at 350 for about 1 1/2 hrs.  Juices should run clear.

Chips (oven fries)
Peal about 5 large potatoes for 4 people. (I use idaho or russet potatoes)
Slice into 8 wedges each. 
Soak in salted water for about 1/2 an hour.
Drain and pat dry
Pour Sunflower oil on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle in plenty of salt, pepper and paprika. Place the potato wedges in the seasoned oil and mix around until covered in the oil.
Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes if you are cooking it in the same oven as the chicken and at the same time, or ideally bake at 400 for about 30 min. 

Serve the chicken and chips with mayo, pilipili hot sauce and ketchup.  In the picture I roasted some vegetables but often I just make this simple baby kale salad:

1 container baby kale
1 lemon
1/2 c. shredded parmesan
extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. honey
salt and pepper

Juice the lemon and grate a little bit of the rind.  Pour it into a screw top jar.  Add almost the same amount of olive oil, honey, salt and pepper.  Shake vigorously. Pour onto the kale and sprinkle with the cheese. Toss together.  It is quite alright to make this ahead of time and even eat it the next day.  Unlike other soft greens, baby kale is great even if it is wilted.