Slow-Roasted Oregano Chicken with Buttered Tomatoes

by Susan Hanna

This roast chicken dish from Alison Roman, featured in her new cookbook Nothing Fancy, is perfect for Sunday dinner. Season a whole chicken and stuff with oregano. Place in a roasting pan and scatter tomatoes, garlic, butter and more oregano around the chicken. Roast low and slow – about 2 ½ hours – until the chicken is done and the tomatoes are soft. Add some wine vinegar and serve.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I use Eden Organic red wine vinegar, which has no sulfites added. Check the bread for preservatives – Ace Bakery bread is usually free of additives. I use Gay Lea butter, which has no colour added. For more recipes using all-natural ingredients, visit Eye For a Recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (3 ½ – to 4-pound/1.5 to 1.8 kg) whole chicken
  •  Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons (22.5 ml) fennel seeds, crushed in a mortar and pestle or spice mill, or chopped with a knife
  • 1 bunch fresh oregano
  • 1 ½ pounds (680 g) small vine-ripened tomatoes (about 6), halved lengthwise
  • 2 heads of garlic, halved crosswise (it’s fine to leave the skin on)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 4 to 6 (1-inch/2.54-cm-thick) slices of good country bread, such as country loaf or sourdough, toasted (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees F (163 C). Season the chicken with salt and pepper. (If you can do this in advance, please do.) Drizzle it with the olive oil and sprinkle with the fennel seeds.
  2. Stuff the cavity with half the oregano and place in a large baking dish. Scatter the tomatoes, garlic, butter and remaining oregano around the chicken. Roast until the chicken is golden brown and completely cooked through, and the tomatoes are nice and jammy, 2 ½ to 3 hours. Add the vinegar to the tomatoes and let the chicken rest in the baking dish for 10 minutes.
  3. Place toast, if using, on serving platter and spoon the jammy tomatoes over or around the toast. Carve the chicken and place on top of the toast to catch the juices. Serves 4-6.

From Nothing Fancy, by Alison Roman