It's no secret that I love making roasts for people. There is nothing quite so lovely as having a few friends quietly milling around your house midday, wine in hand, as all kinds of delicious smells waft from the oven and you're peacefully peeling spuds and all the rest. Only sometimes buying a huge chicken or such can be a bit of a mission when you were hoping for something a bit more downbeat.
This Nigella Lawson recipe is a lovely balance of that - delicious, but extremely straightforward and a perfect medium if you haven't quite gotten around to trying a proper roast yet. No basting required, just slam in the oven and take out an hour and 15 later (although do turn the sausages over once). It's also cheap! - using sausages and chicken thighs, which turn crispy on the outside and perfectly tender in the middle. The sage used gives it a wonderful, hearty aroma and the marinade pushes it from just being 'roast meat' into something seriously delicious. You can have it with just some basic mashed potato and veg on the side if you're feeling simple, or if you prefer to go full whack, a potato gratin and some peas and carrots make it into something that rivals a full on Sunday lunch. This is just about the right amount for three people, usually our good friend Dave, who is a long-visiting guest, regularly giving me the opportunity to justify cooking elaborate meals. The time I made this he was painfully hungover, but he ventured from Edgware to sample the food and left a happy man indeed.
This makes enough for three as that's the size of my roasting tray, with a few bits left over, but just straight up double if you want to do enough for six. I have this in my recipe notes as 'one tray amazing roast heaven' but lets call it...
Halfway through eating, realised I hadn't taken a photo! So this is a bit blurry and hurried....
Simple, one tray roast
- 1 or 2 small onion (the marinaded, slippery onions that result from this recipe are amazing)
- 60ml olive oil
- 1 tsp mustard (the original recipe calls for English but I prefer French grainy mustard)
- 1 tbsp dried sage
- 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 tbsp Worcester sauce
- 6 chicken thighs
- 6 to 8 sausages (however many you want, really.)
- 1 tbsp of chopped, fresh sage, if you can justify buying a whole pack for a few leaves. I normally skip this because buying fresh herbs unless I plan to use up is a waste, but it's a nice addition.
Before you start, prepare the marinade. Have a freezer bag ready, although if you are in a pinch a bowl will do, just remember to stir it around a little bit while marinading so it gets an even coating. Into your bag, put in the olive oil, the Worcester sauce and the mustard. Juice the lemon half and pour in the juice, then slice the rind into eighths and chuck that in too. Cut the onion into eighths and add to the bag, with the dried sage and a looooooot of ground black pepper. Yum. Mash it all up so it forms a consistent mixture, then add the chicken, make sure it gets coated then marinade for as long as you can stand. An hour, four hours, over night, whatever. Just make sure the chicken isn't cold when you start roasting, if possible.
Put the oven to 220, (although 200 is usually what I do as our oven is hot) and tip the whole bag/bowl of marinade into your largest and nicest roasting tray. Put the chicken in the tray skin-side up, and tuck the sausages around. Add the fresh sage if you're using it - a tablespoon of chopped leaves - and that's it. Put it in the oven and cook for one hour to one hour fifteen. At the 45m mark, take it out, and flip the sausages, as the underside will be white and the top will be brown and crispy.
Pro-tip: I would remove the lemon before serving up, as if you don't you might end up accidentally trying to eat a chunk of it a la onions.
Credit where credit is due: Nigella Lawson