Friday, 12 August 2011
We had the missionaries over for supper today and I thought I would revisit a few old favourites. I don't think I've ever posted them on this page though, so you're in for a real treat!
I love Roast Chicken and so does Todd. I have pretty much perfected the way I roast a chicken now and this is the way I basically do it every time with little variation. Of course beginning with a really good quality chicken is half the battle! (This is where you really do get what you pay for.)
I always use a free range, corn fed (if possible) chicken and I rub it all over with butter and slip garlic underneath the skin of the breast along with a few herbs.
I squeeze lemon juice over all, salt and pepper and bake it on a bed of lemon slices. I throw the spent squeezed lemon into the chicken along with some more garlic and some thyme, and sometimes another knob of butter, some salt and pepper.
End result a deliciously tasty and moist Roast Chicken, with crisp skin and meltingly tender meat. (Can you believe I have never yet been able to get a really tasty looking picture of Roast Chicken? I know! It should be so simple, but it's not!)
*Lemon and Garlic Roast Chicken*
Nothing is more comforting than a delicious dinner of Roast Chicken and vegetables. Crisp skin on the outside, and succulent, flavourful, tender and juicy meat on the inside. This is my way of achieving just that. Lemon and Garlic bring out the best in chicken. The three just go together like peas and carrots!
1 medium sized roasting chicken, about 2 kg in weight
2 unwaxed lemons
3 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
3 TBS butter
3 sprigs of thyme
Sea Salt and cracked black pepper to taste
A drizzle of olive oil
Pre-heat the oven to 200*C/400*F. Take one of the lemons and slice very thinly. Place half of the slices in the bottom of a heavy roasting pan along with half of the sliced garlic. Set aside while you prepare the chicken.
Wash the chicken and pat it dry with paper towels. Season it well inside with salt and pepper. Loosen the skin over the chicken breasts with your fingers, being very careful not to tear it. Push a few slices of the sliced lemon in under the skin on each side along with some of the remaining garlic slices, 1 TBS of butter and a sprig of thyme. Put the rest of the lemon, the last TBS of butter and a sprig of thyme into the cavity of the chicken. Place the whole chicken on top of the sliced lemon and garlic in the roasting pan. Dust the whole thing with some salt and pepper and drizzle with some olive oil. Place in the heated oven.
Roast, uncovered for approximately 45 minutes per kg, or until the juices run clear when pierced with a fork. Baste the chicken every fifteen minutes after the first half hour has passed with the pan juices.
Remove from the oven and let it sit to rest for about 10 to 15 minutes before serving. If you wish you can skim off all the fat from the pan and make a delicious gravy with the juices that are left behind.
To make a gravy: Skim off all the fat from the pan, except for about 2 TBS. Add several TBS of flour to the remaining drippings and any juices from the chicken. Stir until smooth, and cook over medium heat for about a minute. Slowly pour in 2 cups of heated chicken stock, stirring until it is thickened and smooth. Taste for seasoning. Serve.
To go with the Roast Chicken, along with the traditional roast spuds and veg I did a delicious Old Fashioned Pea Salad. I love this salad.
It's chock full of tender baby peas and crisp iceberg lettuce . . . savoury cheese and crispy bacon . . . a tiny bit of red onion . . .
The dressing is a simple one . . . a mayo vinaigrette, with a bit of a sweet and sour tang. It goes so very well on the salad. I think this is everyone's favourite around here. They always lick the bowl clean!
*Old Fashioned Pea Salad*
A delicious salad with lettuce, peas, red onions, cheese and bacon, all in a tangy mayo vinaigrette.
1 cup of frozen petit peas, thawed
(Pour boiling water over them, let sit for a few minutes, and then drain)
1/2 head of iceberg lettuce, chopped into squares
1 very small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 ounces of cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
4 slices of bacon, cooked until crisp and then crumbled
For the dressing:
1 TBS of white wine vinegar
3 TBS of a fruity olive oil
1 TBS good quality mayonnaise
1 tsp white sugar, or to taste
1/2 tsp dill weed
salt and black pepper to taste
First make the dressing. Whisk all of the ingredients together in a small bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings as required. Set aside.
Mix all the salad ingredients together in a bowl. When you are ready to serve, drizzle the dressing over top and toss. Serve immediately.