Roast chicken with root vegetable and chickpea salad

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A perfect way to use up leftover chicken, this bulgur wheat salad is studded with chickpeas, courgettes, peppers, tomatoes and carrots, which are roasted until caramelised and flavoured with the classic combination of garlic, thyme and lemon.

This recipe is taken from Under The Olive Tree: Recipes From My Greek Kitchen by Irini Tzortzoglou (Headline, £25). Photography by David Loftus.

First published in 2020

More than anything else, I love chicken for its versatility. It is the blank canvas of all meats for me. We always had our own chickens in Crete, and although the flavour of the meat and eggs does not compare with anything I have eaten outside the island since, the aroma of chicken roasting always takes me back to a very happy place. These days I content myself with Aunty Antonia’s home-grown chicken, which she cooks for me every time I visit.

Supermarket chicken can still taste delicious, though, and John and I always fight for the crispy chicken skin. Being just the two of us means that when roasting a whole chicken we can have three meals from it, the first being the freshly roasted legs with accompanying roast vegetables, the second the breasts in a salad the following day, as here, and the third a chicken, egg and lemon soup made from the carcass.





Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
Place the carrots, peppers, courgettes, onions and garlic in a roasting tray. Sprinkle with oil, scatter over the thyme leaves and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes, then add the tomatoes. Continue baking for another 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft and caramelised
Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring the water to the boil with a pinch of salt and add the bulgur. Let it cook for 10–15 minutes, until it’s soft and plump. Drain, then put back into the saucepan and cover
Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Toss with the bulgur and the roasted vegetables, and add the parsley and lemon zest. Check the seasoning. Serve on a platter, topped with the sliced chicken breasts

Irini was the winner of MasterChef in 2019 and her book Under The Olive Tree showcases the Greek dishes she loves to cook.

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