Cooking a whole chicken is way more economical that buying lots of packs of chicken portions and generally you can get more from it that you think; especially if you consider making chicken stock from the bones. That said, having the same roast chicken recipe and serving it the same way could potentially get a bit dull so its nice to have variations on a theme. The harissa coating on this chicken adds just this, the crispy, salty, spicy coating is delicious and when served with a salad is lovely on a warm day.
For the roast chicken you will need
A whole chicken (free range costs a bit more, but its way more ethical and tastes better)
Harissa paste (make your own if you wish, but I used shop bought)
Salt crystals and black pepper
2 garlic cloves
For the salad you will need
2 large handfuls spinach
2 large handfuls of vine tomatoes
1 large red pepper
Salt and pepper
(We also had garlic bread with this but I only heated it up, next time I will make my own).
Preheat your oven to 190°C. While the oven is preheating sort out your chicken – remove any string, cut away the excess skin at the top and bottom, remove any giblets. Half your lemon and shove this into the chicken’s rear end. Crush your garlic and add to the chicken’s bum (I feel very eloquent writing this). Squirt some honey up there then add the remaining lemon half and garlic. Spoon over your harissa paste (I used about 1 tablespoon of it), drizzle over a small amount of olive oil (about 1 teaspoon’s worth) and rub this mixture all over your chicken. Sprinkle some salt crystals all over the chicken and add a sprinkling of pepper. Put this in the oven and roast the chicken for 20 minutes per lb of chicken plus an additional 20 minutes (I use a converter to convert metric to imperial for this). Before the last 20 minutes of cooking liberally spoon over any juice to add to the decliousness and make the chicken all shiny and crispy.
The salad is simple, half the tomatoes, and cut up the pepper and toss them together in a bowl. Drizzle some olive oil over the salad and season with salt and pepper. Use a grater to shave pecorino over the salad and serve.
When you take the chicken out of the oven leave it for 15-20 minutes before carving to retain the juiciness of the meat. During this time you can heat up any sides (like I said above we had this with garlic bread, but pasta salad or cous cous would work equally well).