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Chicken, Potato and Tomato Roast

Meliz Berg's simple one-tin roast chicken and potato is flavoured with warming spices. Why not mix up your Sunday roast repertoire and make this family favourite.

Introduction

Tavuklu Patates Kebabı was a weekly staple dish for us growing up. In fact, my mum still makes it for us now when we all get together; it’s such a simple one-tray meal, and it really does go a long way. This recipe and Küp Kebabı (Lamb Shanks & Potatoes) are two meat-based dishes synonymous with slowcooking in outdoor ovens, which so much of Cypriot cuisine has been traditionally built upon. These recipes can easily be adapted to be cooked in conventional Western ovens, and here I have added my own twist of spices and flavours to my mum’s traditional recipe.

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Ingredients

1 chicken or vegetable stock cube
2 tbsp tomato purée
200ml boiling water
6 tbsp olive oil
4 onions, peeled and quartered
750g Cyprus or Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and halved
8–10 large high-welfare chicken thighs and/or drumsticks
6 garlic cloves, peeled and bashed
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp pul biber
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cumin
¾ tsp salt
¾ tsp pepper
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves
400g can chopped tomatoes
400ml cold water
3 bay leaves
1 unwaxed lemon, halved

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/gas mark 6.

Dissolve the stock cube and tomato purée in the boiling water in a heatproof jug and leave to one side.

Drizzle two tablespoons of the olive oil into a deep baking tray, then add the onions, potatoes, chicken and garlic to the tray. Sprinkle over the dried oregano, spices, salt, pepper and parsley. Give everything a gentle stir so that the chicken and vegetables are fully coated in the oily spices.

Pour the chopped tomatoes into the baking tray, then fill up the can with cold water; top up the dissolved stock and tomato purée with enough water from the can to take the total amount of liquid up to 600 ml (20 fl oz), give it a stir and pour this into the baking tray as well. Add the bay leaves and the lemon halves, drizzle over another three tablespoons of the olive oil (save a little for the last 30 minutes of cooking), cover with foil and place the baking tray on the bottom shelf of the oven.

After 35–40 minutes remove the baking tray from the oven, take off the foil, turn the chicken over, baste the potatoes and return to the oven without the foil. After another 25–30 minutes, remove again, turn the chicken over, basting the potatoes in the juices, drizzle everything with the remaining one tablespoon of olive oil and return to the oven for a final 25–30 minutes.

Remove from the oven, allow to rest for 5 minutes, then serve with a liberal pouring of the thick basting juices and onions, accompanied by a fresh salad, and in true Cypriot style, rice and thick set natural yoghurt.

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