Sunday lunch

More crossants and pain au chocolat – I really have to get them to try something different for breakfast. I’m not worried though because it’s merely a prelude to the main event – Sunday Lunch…

Roast chicken with mashed garlic swede, cabbage, roast spuds and parsnips

Firstly prepare the chicken by stuffing with half an onion a handful of rosemary and thyme and a stick of celery, then slash the thighs and cover the whole thing with lots of salt, pepper, tarragon and olive oil. put it in a 220c oven – it needs to stay in there for about an hour and twenty minutes then pull it out out and rest it in foil while you make the gravy with the juices from the bottom of the pan, some flour, a glug of wine and the water that you used to cook the veg.

A few things to mention about the veg (although I’m not going to take you through it step by step – this isn’t a cookery book).  To get perfect results you must par-boild the spuds (10 mins) and parsnips (5 mins) before you put them in the oven (this time I used extra virgin rapeseed oil – bright yellow and beautiful) for about 40 mins. 

The cabbage should also be cooked in boiling water for a just a few minutes before dropping into cold water and leaving until ready to reheat in a pan with butter and lots of seasoning. The swede just needs to be cut into chunks and boiled in the water you used from the spuds. When the swede is cooked, take it out of the pan, and drop in a good chunk of butter with a couple of cloves of garlic finely chopped. Then put it back into the pan and mash – perfect…

Of course – all of this is for nothing without a big bowl of bread sauce – milk heated to simmering point with an onion and a few cloves, left to cool a little then strained into another saucepan. Add a few handfuls of breadcrumbs, lots of butter, a few glugs of cream and season…

Very simple but loads of work and loads of washing up. It’s well worth it though – especially for the chicken sandwiches later that evening. And DON’T forget to keep the carcass – put it in a saucepan with an onion, a few peppercorns and a carrot, then add boiling water and simmer for about forty minutes – perfect chicken stock and none of those rubbish stock cubes in sight.

Lunch is over and the weekend is drawing to a close – just enough time for a quick outing on the bikes and more wii (although no more wii sports which was an unfortunate casualty of the weekend – left on the floor and scratched to death by a careless short…)

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