Tag Archives: roast

A chicken in the oven

Going to get the shorts later so I’m preparing myself for another weekend of mayhem. The house is in perfect order and quaking in its boots because it knows that it’s only going to last a few more hours before it’s systematically taken apart piece by piece. I’m going to sound ocd here but it’s an unshakable fact that tidiness and order are the first (and most badly injured) casualties of parenthood. I’m trying to think of a good image here – I’m picturing hyenas ripping apart the carcass of a barely breathing and once majestic zebra, or better, crazed looters storming through a post-apocalytic Selfridges, the hitherto paragon of order and style now reduced to a crumbling wreck with ripped-apart agent provocateur undies, butchered chloe bags, smashed bottles of italian black truffle oil and shredded prada strewn about the place and, in the corner, a small perfectly-clad shop assistant hunched up and quietly weeping behind her counter…
I’m the shop assistant I think. Well, a male version of her. It’s not making huge sense really, but hopefully you get the idea..

Anyway, on to food. This is an old one that I just saw a picture of and it’s a good crowd pleaser – especially for the house wrecking entourage. It’s also really easy to do, so well worth a try…

Roast chicken, in a casserole dish, with some onions and garlic.

Start with a whole chicken (splash out and get a decent one – it makes a big difference especially with this recipe) and cut it into pieces (wings, breasts, legs and thighs), putting them all in the dish with the skin facing up. Next, take some small onions or shallots, peel and cut in half, and a few bulbs of garlic also cut in half. Now pour over half a bottle of half decent white wine (with a large spoonful of wholegrain mustard) and some good olive oil –  covering the onions, chicken and garlic. Season it very well with lots of salt and pepper and loads of tarragon.

Shove it in a hot (220 degrees) oven for 40 minutes and you’re done (for the avoidance of doubt this is before it went into the oven…)

In the meantime make whatever veg you like – this time I made mash (with milk and cream and wholegrain mustard), and steamed green beans tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper and chopped garlic – my favourite…

Actually, you can see a mushroom in the pic (you can’t any more because I removed the picture from the post) – I must have added a few half way through the cooking – makes sense – give it a try…

As I think about it, I really need to get some decent lighting for these photos. And a decent camera. And maybe some photography lessons, because they really are quite crap…

Christmas Day

I’m not sure going into this in great detail makes sense, so I’ll just talk about what I cooked – The method was not revolutionary so I’ll assume you can wing it if necessary – and if you can’t then all you have to do is ask…
Roast the goose with a pork, sage, onion and apple stuffing (put in both orifices in little balls and then put back in the oven to complete cooking after the bird is taken out of the oven)
Roast Spuds and parsnips – par boiled before going into the oven (if you do this they will be soft inside and crunchy on the outside. If you don’t they will be dry and horrible)
Sprouts – par boiled for 5 mins until al dente then plunged into freezing water. Fried in butter, salt, pepper and garlic just before serving.
Carrots, peeled, cut into discs and sweated in butter with salt and pepper, peas (defrosted) 2 mins before serving to heat them through.
Bread sauce (do NOT buy ready made bread sauce – it’s disgusting) – onion and bay leaf in milk, heat up, strain into another saucepan, add breadcrumbs, add cream, add butter, nutmeg and seasoning – seriously – what could be easier??
Gravy – made from boiling the giblets with an onion and a carrot, straining, adding flour, butter, the liquid from par boiling the veg and all the lovely sticky bits from the bottom of the gooses roasting tin (with as much of the fat drained off as you can – greasy gravy is yuck) – then add wine or port and season.
Cranberry sauce, made with fried onions, cranberries, a shot of port and seasoning
I think that’s pretty much it – make sure you rest the bird for 20 mins before scarving – this is when you can turn up the oven to max heat to make sure your roast veg are nice a crispy!
One tip – for something like this where you have to serve up a load of different dishes all at the same time, I find it useful to put together a list with timings so you know when to prepare what, put what in the oven, on the hob, etc etc (I know, another list – but believe me it works)