Oven Veggies and Autumn BBQ Chicken
I think most people very much identify with one of the four seasons. Most are summer people, others love the winter. But who would want to go without the spring when everything is in bloom or a ripe, mild autumn? You don't get four seasons in a year everywhere on the planet, unfortunately. Over here in Western Europe, the seasons have a strong influence on us and we love them all. As for me, the autumn is my favourite. Even though I like when the trees are in bloom and I definitely love the sun and the ocean as well as the snow and snowboarding, but a beautiful, magical autumn gives me that cosy, homely feeling I don't get at any other time of the year.
Lord, it is time. The summer was immense.
Let fall your shadows on the sundials,
upon the fields let loose your winds.
Command the last fruits to be full;
give them just two more southern days,
Press them to completion, and chase the last
sweetness into the heavy wine.
Whoever has no house now - he will never build.
Whoever is alone now, long will so remain;
will stay awake, and read, and write long letters
and wander the alleys up and down,
restless, as the leaves are drifting.
- Rainer Maria Rilke, 1902 Paris
Autumn is the season to retreat and spend some quiet time indoors. I love taking walks among brightly coloured trees, gather chestnuts, watch the leaves dance on the breeze and fill my lungs with cool autumn air. I always return from those outings invigorated, full of good energy and thinking of the beautiful things I've seen while I warm up with a good cup of tea.
Before I settle down on the couch with a book or a movie, I often make myself some oven-roasted vegetables. The other day, I invited friends over for a Sunday lunch and surprised them with BBQ chicken and just such a roast veggie dish.
The autumn offers a ton of fruit and vegetables - the harvest is in full swing: apples, pears, grapes, tomatoes as well as the classic fall veg of pumpkins, beetroot, potatoes, savoy cabbage, chicory, mushrooms, green beans, Brussels sprouts as well as celery, chard and much much more.
Have you noticed that, not unlike Rilke points out in his beautiful poem, September and October are the most indulgent of the autumn months? It gets darker earlier and there's a slight chill in the air. I however am not planning on being all by my lonesome writing long letters, but will instead transform the produce I have stored - preserved, pickled or even fresh, thanks to this being the 21st century - into amazing autumnal dishes.
Images (c) Julia Stix for MAXIMA, August 2016, food styling and recipes: Eva Fischer
BBQ Chicken with Oven Vegetables
Ingredients for the BBQ chicken:
1,5kg BBQ Chicken
6 sprigs thyme
1 tsp salt
1 TBSP BBQ spice
1 lemon, unwaxed
Ingredients for the oven veg:
2 yellow carrots
8 cherry tomatoes
4 cloves garlic
8 new potatoes
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan) or 200°C (upper/lower). Wash the entire chicken inside and out and pat dry with paper towels. Pick half of the thyme sprigs and mix with the salt and the BBQ spice in a small bowl. Rub your chicken well all over with the spices, put in an ovenproof dish and fill it with water, around 1cm high. Flake the butter and spread over the chicken. Finely slice the lemon and add to the form along with the rest of the unpicked thyme sprigs. Slide the chicken into the oven and roast for about an hour, spooning the accumulating gravy over the meat intermittently.
- For the oven veg peel the carrots and quarter them lengthwise. Quarter the beetroot or cut it into eight pieces, depending on size. Quarter the radishes and figs. Put everything into an ovenproof form and add the rest of the vegetables, uncut and unpeeled. Drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt. Add the vegetables to the oven and roast for around 30 to 40 minutes.
- Cut the chicken and serve together with the oven veg.