We are what we repeatedly do. [Barbecue], then, is not an act, but a habit. – Aristotle*
Even though this recipe isn’t a barbeque let’s start with a short history lesson, the word barbecue has attracted several inaccurate origins from folk etymology. The word is derived from the French language, the story goes that French visitors to the Caribbean saw a goat being cooked whole and described the method as barbe à queue, meaning “from beard to tail”.
Having gone on about barbecue. This recipe isn’t really a barbeque, but more a roast chicken. Anyhoo, the most important detail is not the origin of the word barbeque or whether roasting a whole chicken is a form of barbeque but that this is easy and super fancy looking. Easy gourmet.
What you’ll need:
1 whole chicken (insides cleaned) – this should be around 1.5-2 Kgs
3-4 Boiled Potatoes
1 Cup Steamed Peas
1 Cup Mushroom (Chopped)
2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
3-4 tbsp Barbeque Sauce
4-5 cloves Garlic (Grated)
Rosemary to taste
Worcestershire sauce to taste
Balsamic Vinegar to taste
Honey to taste
Juice of 2-3 Lemons
Salt to taste
Ground black pepper to taste
1. Make sure when you get the chicken from the butcher shop he has cleaned the insides of the chicken well. He has removed all the organs and there isn’t any blood left.
2. Based on your preference you either leave the skin on the chicken. The skin becomes crispy and the fat under it melts and adds more flavor to the chicken but if you’re feeling health conscious then I would recommend asking the butcher to take the skin off.
3. Once you’re ready to marinate the chicken place the chicken in a bowl and pour on balsamic vinegar, mustard, barbeque sauce, honey and the lemon juice.
4. Rub the chicken with the garlic, salt and pepper. Add rosemary.
5. Let the chicken stay in the marinade for at least 2-3 hours. The longer the better. Since you’re putting in the effort to roast an entire chicken why not just leave it in overnight?
Now to Roast
1. Boil the potatoes, take the skin off and cut them in half.
2. Steam the peas. I usually pressure cook them. I add a tablespoon of sugar in the water to sweeten the peas up and then one whistle and they are good to go.
3. Place the marinated chicken in a nice serving dish.
4. Stuff the chicken with the boiled potatoes, steamed peas and chopped mushrooms. If you’re doing this for the first time, don’t get queasy or stressed out. Just pack the vegetables in there.
5. Whatever peas, potatoes and mushrooms are left place around the chicken ornamentally.
6. Preheat the oven at 200°C for about 15-20 mins.
7. Put the chicken into the oven and let it cook for about 45-50 minutes.
Note: Every oven has different heat settings so temperatures tend to vary – you’ll need to check for yourself when the chicken is done.
8. During the time the chicken is cooking I usually lay the table, make some mashed potatoes, make some sauce to go with the chicken, cut my loaf of bread, make herb and garlic butter and make myself a drink.
9. Serve straight out of the oven with bread some brown sauce, bread, herb-garlic butter and mashed potatoes.
Brown Sauce: Take some chicken stock bring to a boil, pour in Worcestershire Sauce, barbeque sauce, garlic and salt to taste. On the few days when I am good with my body image issues I add a blob of butter to make the sauce rich and creamy. Add a spoonful of corn flour mixed with water to thicken and you’re done!
*Editor’s note: the original quote is “Excellence” not Barbeque… because I’m pretty sure Aristotle wasn’t into BBQing!