One of my all times favourite things to do on a Sunday is cook a roast dinner. I whack on some tunes on my aged i-pod, pour a large glass of wine (or two) and whip up a storm while dancing around the kitchen. Sam subsequently has the joy of performing his least favourite Sunday activity of clearing it all up once I’m done!! This roast was however a little different to my norm, and perfect for this time of year. When the weather starts to get warmer and the nights lighter we don’t necessarily crave a comforting, belly-busting roast dinner, and so this recipe re-invents the roast chicken into a glorious Jamaican version that goes perfectly with a splash of sunshine! Don’t be put off this recipe if there are just the two of you dining, this chicken makes for amazing left overs; whether you toss it into a rice salad and eat cold the next day, or fold it into some flatbreads; I promise that there is nothing about this recipe that will disappoint you.
For the rub
- ½ tsp grated nutmeg
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp cloves
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp hot chilli powder
- 2 tsp ground allspice
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- Zest 1 lime
- 1 tsp soft dark brown sugar
For the chicken
- 70g butter
- Juice 1 lime
- 1.65kg chicken
- 2 small red onions – halved
- 1 large red pepper – de-seeded and quartered
- 1 lime – halved
- 1 red chilli – halved and de-seeded
For the Sauce
- Splash rum
- ½ tbsp. tomato puree
- 1 tsp chilli sauce
- Splash pineapple juice
- Cooked Rice
- Mixed Beans
- Corn of the cob
Pre-heat the oven to 180’C
Mix together all the ingredients to the rub and divide half of it mixed in with the butter and the other half with the lime juice.
In a large roasting dish place the chilli, 3 of the onion halves, the pepper and half the lime.
Make 4 small holes in the skin of the chicken, one at the top of each breast and the others at the top of the thigh.
Divide the butter into 4 and shape into a sausage.
Put your finger into the hole and push the skin away from the chicken.
Press the butter into the hole and then smooth it out so that as much of the chicken is covered under the skin as possible.
Place the remaining onion and lemon halved inside the chicken and place the chicken on top of the onions in the roasting dish.
Rub the remaining spices that you have mixed with the lime juice all over the skin and then cover with foil.
Leave to marinate for at least half an hour and then cook in the oven for 1 hour.
After this hour, remove the foil from the chicken and give it a good baste with the juices in the pan.
Turn the oven up to 200’C and return the chicken to the oven (uncovered) for half an hour, basing half way through.
Once the chicken is cooked, remove from the oven and the pan and cover and rest it on a chopping board for 10 minutes.
While the chicken is resting you can make your sauce.
Remove the lime from the roasting tin and discard.
Scrape the remaining contents of the pan, along with the juices into a blender and puree until smooth.
Heat the rum in a small saucepan and simmer for 2 minutes.
Add the blended pan juices, along with the tomato puree and the pineapple juice to the pan and simmer until ready to serve.
Once your chicken is rested, slice up and serve with whatever tickles your fancy. I cooked up some brown rice and stirred through some beans, onion, peas and cherry tomatoes, but this would also be great with some flat breads and salad.