So I was going to post all of these with photos. But it seems my SD card is corrupted…GAH!…I’m just posting the recipes for now and am setting about either rescuing the SD card, or just cooking everything again to photograph it. So watch this space.
So this post does not contain any new recipes.
It is, if you will, a synoptic that gives timings for how you would put together all the various elements of the Roast Chicken to Impress Your Mum series so that you can really impress her.
A lot of people (The Boy, I’m looking at you) find that timing things is the most stressful part of cooking, and with so many elements in an impressive roast, that is a valid concern. But fear not. I’ve done it all for you.
The following is based on a roast made with a 2kg chicken and eaten at roughly 2pm and gives you time to pop a bit of make up on and send your beloved running around the flat with a hoover and a duster. Of course if you want to eat at a different time just add or subtract the timings accordingly. (So if you’re eating at 1pm subtract an hour from each time. If you want to eat at 3pm, add an hour. You’re not an idiot. You don’t really need me to tell you that.)
The roast includes the following recipes (with links to their stand-alone page):
SO! On y vas!
For the chicken:
- One chicken, free range, 2kg
- One lump of Boursin cheese (or half a tub of Garlic and Herb cream cheese)
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- A lemon
For the Carrots and Onions:
- 4 good sized carrots
- 3 white onions
- 1tsp dried thyme
- Olive oil
- salt and pepper
For the Courgettes:
- 2 courgettes
- Olive oil
- Two cloves of garlic, crushed.
- A good shake of chilli flakes
- 3-4 tomatoes, sliced in half or quarters depending on size (optional)
- Half a lemon
For the Potatoes:
- 1kg new potatoes
- 4 cloves garlic
- Sea salt
- Olive oil
- Parsley, a handful
For the Leek Confit:
- 3 big leeks or 4 smaller ones (not baby leeks though, obvs)
- 2 tbsps butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
To eat at 2pm:
10:30 Take the chicken out the fridge.
11:00 The chicken:
- Snip the string holding the chicken‘s legs together and unhook her legs.
- Pop half a lemon in the cavity.
- Now for the stuffing. Take off your rings, unless you want your diamonds encrusted with Boursin or raw chicken. Trust me. Gently prise the skin from the chicken’s breast, starting at the neck end. You may need to use a sharp knife to snip the membrane slightly. Make sure you can slide your hand all the way to the other end.
- Take about a sixth if the lump of Boursin in you hand and slide it between the skin and the breast, getting it as far down towards the end as you can.
- Keep adding the cheese until you’ve used it all, or you can’t possibly get any more in. It’s not the nicest sensation ever, but it’s worth it. Trust.
- Once it’s all in, smooth it out by sliding your hand over the skin, towards the legs, to really smooth the cheese into the end if the breast.
- Drizzle the top of the breast and legs in olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and give it all a good rub in.
- Pop in a roasting tray and preheat your oven to 200’C ready to put her in at 12:00.
- Run your leeks under the tap to ensure there’s not grit left on them.
- Slice the end off each leek and then slice the white and light green bits as thinly as you can. Save the dark green tops for stock.
- Melt the butter and olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. When melted add your leeks to the pan and give them a good stir until they are all covered in the butter and oil. Season with a good pinch of salt and pepper.
- Turn the heat right down and cook the leeks for around 45 mins, stirring frequently to stop them sticking or colouring too much.
When the leeks are done (12:20), turn off the heat, ready to reheat later.
11:45 Courgettes: (your leeks will still be cooking, but will only need minimal stirring now, so you can totally do this simultaneously.)
- Slice your courgettes lengthways, and then on a diagonal slice them into 5mm thick slices
- Heat a good slug of oil in a pan on a medium high heat.
- Add your courgettes, garlic, salt and shake of chilli flakes to the pan.
- Cook them on a medium high heat to give them some colour and then turn down the heat a little to soften the courgettes. This takes about 20 mins.
- If you’re adding tomatoes add them now, stir through and heat gently until they soften.
- Once you have reached this stage, squeeze in half the juice of a lemon, stir then turn off the heat and leave to one side to reheat later at the same time as your leeks.
12:00 Put your stuffed chicken in the oven at 200’C.
12:20 Turn the oven down to 180’C, the leeks and courgettes should be cooked by now, so turn off the heat. We’ll reheat them later.
Pour about 3 tablespoons of oil into the roasting tray that you will cook them in. Put the tray in the oven to get the oil nice and hot.
12:45 Meanwhile have a little look at your potatoes. You’ll want them all to be roughly the same size, so you may need to cut some of the bigger ones in half. Do not peel your spuds.
- Pop them in a large pan with a good sprinkle of salt and pour over the kettle of boiling water.
- Whack a lid on your pan and bring to the boil for 5 mins max.
- After 5 mins drain your spuds. You will be putting them in the hot oil in the oven in a few minutes.
12:50 Carrots and onions
- Cut your carrots into batons: halve each carrot both vertically and horizontally. Cut each chunk into about three or four batons.
- Peel your onions and cut each onion into six, keeping the layers of each segment as best as you can.
- Arrange your carrots and onions on a baking tray. Drizzle over a good glug of oil. Squiggle your veg around on the tray to help coat it in the oil.
- Sprinkle over some thyme and season with salt and pepper.
13:00 Put your carrots and onions in the oven, towards the bottom.
Take the tray with the hot oil in out of the oven and put in your spuds. Give it a gentle shake to coat all the potatoes in the oil. Whack straight back in the oven. They need about an hour. You are going to throw in 4 cloves of garlic about 20 mins before the end.
13:05 There’s about 35 mins of down time here, where you don’t have to do anything, except maybe keep an eye on the bits in the oven. This is when to put your make up on and run around cleaning the flat and setting the table.
13:40 Take your chicken out the and test for doneness by pricking the thigh and checking that the juices run clear (by clear we mean no sign on blood, no red, no pink).
Put the chicken on a plate and cover with foil.
13:42 (after taking chicken out) pop your garlic cloves in with the potatoes and give the tray a good shake to redistribute.
13:55 Ask someone to carve the chicken (or do it yourself if you feel confident to do it whilst reheating your other bits) and pop the slices on a plate. Take the plate to the table.
13:57 Reheat your courgettes and leeks on a medium heat for 3 – 5 minutes. You might want to take a few spoonfuls of the chicken juice out of the chicken roasting pan and add them to the leeks. When warmed through, transfer them to attractive bowls (or ugly ones, there are no rules) and take them to the table.
14:00 Take the potatoes and carrots and onions out the oven. Pop them in an attractive bowl. Garnish your spuds with sea salt and parsley and take them to the table.
14:02 You’ve done it! Hurrah! Have a glass of wine. Sit down at the table and just look at how impressed your mum is. Eat. I bet you’re hungry.