One of my favourite dinners to whip up on the weekend is roast chicken, because it’s one of those things I can just toss in the oven and forget about it for a while. I have an instapot that I use to make rice, so having roast chicken and rice on the table isn’t as much of a hassle as it was when I was first learning to cook. When my mother taught me how to make roast chicken, she taught me how important the right spice rub was to getting the most delicious roast chicken out of the oven, and she still reminds me from time to time. I love experimenting with different rubs, and here are a few of my favourites that I hope you’ll try sometime.
1. Greek-Inspired Rub
On birds that seem fattier than normal, even after I’ve taken off as much fat as I can, I like using rubs that are citrus-y and acidic to lighten the flavours of my chicken. One of my favourites is this Greek-inspired rub, where I mix some lemon zest, chopped rosemary and tarragon, and a couple of spoons of olive tapenade into some olive oil. This works really well with green olive tapenade, made with capers, but is also delicious with black olive tapenade.
2. Arabic-Inspired Rub
For this rub, I like mixing zaa’tar and pomegranate molasses with some olive oil. I’ve talked about zaa’tar before, it’s a delicious Arabic spice blend made of thyme, oregano, sumac, and sesame seeds, and it’s delicious on so many foods. You need to be careful to cover the chicken with foil during the first stages of cooking, because the sugar in the molasses can blacken very quickly if you’re not careful. The molasses is also very tart, so to counteract that, you may wish to add in some sugar.
3. Boyfriend’s Favourite
My partner is a big fan of smoked paprika, and he puts it on everything (one of his favourite snacks is cucumber slices, paprika, and mayo…). He loves when I make chicken using the spice, so I figured out this rub to make for him whenever I want to make a special dinner. Mix some smoked paprika, minced garlic, oregano, and mayonnaise together and then put it all over your chicken. You don’t need a lot of smoked paprika to get big flavour, but put as much as you’d like in. The mayonnaise helps keep the roast chicken moist, and it’s quite delicious honestly; it’s works great as a carrier for other flavours instead of olive oil, so go ahead and experiment!