Family time means everything to me, time to create, to enjoy, and most imortantly of all time to share. Every week we hold a ballot in #ParlezPantry to determine what we shall have for Sunday Lunch, each voter be they 9yrs old, or >51yrs old holds equal sway.
This week was my choice and due to the heavy workload of the day job I opted for a nice and simple roast chicken, it really is the most simplest of presentations you can make for your family and for a Sunday lunch but done right it can be oh so incredible. This post is not so much a recipe so I shan’t provide a list of ingredients, you’ll pick those up as you read.
As a family we don’t eat the skin of a chicken, nor pork crackling, not for any other reason than it is empty calories that we can gain and utilise elsewhere, but we know what the skin can do to serve to transfer the flavour, hence the rub we provide here will permeate the skin and work its way into the meat itself and give a great flavour, it will also form the basis of the sauce that we serve with the finished product. For some the sauce may be too rich so I always serve an additional gravy, I use the sauce on the meat and the gravy on the roasties and stuffing.
We begin by preparing the bed that the chicken shall sit on for its cooking time.
Our chicken is just less than 2kg in weight so we chose a tray that is only just slightly larger than the bird, perhaps 2″ space all around, cut 4 to 6 red onions and 2 oranges appropriately so that they roughly provide the same height for the bird to sit on. Cooking times further down the post.
Take 1 garlic bulb and smash each clove with the back of a large knife, do not peel (same for the onions). Add 2 tbspn olive oil around the tray. That’s the first preparation done.
Next, take a separate bowl, pour 2 tbspn of honey, 3 tbspn of Madras paste (MUST BE PASTE not sauce) Patak’s or any supermarket brand will serve you fine and then add 2 tbspn of orange cordial (preferably NOT juice), finally add 1 tbpsn olive oil. Stir well, and smear all over the bird before seating atop the vegetable tray, finally add 1 cup of water to the vegetables.
As Christmas is closing in I thought I’d do a couple of dry runs and make some homemade stuffing and decided to create some pigs in pig or as some call them pigs in blankets; that’s just weird. I always refuse to pay for a packet of 12 mini sausages already wrapped in a sliver of bacon when for almost the same cost you can purchase a pack of a 12 chipolatas and a pack of 12 rashers of bacon and you get circa 3 times as much manly meatiness; it’s a total no brainer.
The single best investment you can make when you are starting out is to purchase an internal thermometer. Chicken is safe to serve at an internal temperature of a minimum of 75c.
The bird was 1.8278 kg. The cooking time for a chicken is 20 minutes per 450g plus up to 20 minutes for the bird itself.
The calculation theorises that this should take 100 minutes (1 hr 40 minutes), I always under time and set Alexa for 80 minutes to check, ultimately this took 82 minutes to achieve the perfect internal temperature. ALWAYS ensure that if you use a thermometer you insert at the thickest part of the meat and do not touch bone or you shall not receive an accurate reading.
Set the chicken aside under foil for circa 20 to 30 minutes to allow the meat to soak the juices back up and retract. Take the vegetables in the same pan, add 300 ml water and 1 stock cube over the low heat and stir continuously for 6 to 8 minutes. Then place a cullender over a bowl and pour the contents in and push with a wooden spoon to strain the liquid. Bin the vegetables and set the sauce aside.
Cut the chicken portions, 2 legs, 2 wings, 2 breasts, eat the 2 oysters (Chef’s prerogative) and scrape the remainder from the carcass.
Plate up for the family along with your roasties and greens, ensure you have enough wine to get through this. As I said earlier, we remove the skin as it has added immense flavour to the meat but the choice is yours and yours alone.