Review of "Quick and Easy Recipes"

published 28/11/2006 | mattygroves
Member since : 23/04/2001
Reviews : 165
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"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin"
Pro The easiest roast chicken you'll ever make (and tasty too)
Cons Not for the calorie counter
very helpful

"If You Can't Gobble, then Cluck"

Buggered Chicken!

Buggered Chicken!

Some of you may remember from my past musing on the subject that last Thursday (23 November) was Thanksgiving. Traditionally, this means a stuffyourface-fest of turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Of course, I live in the UK. This means that I had to work, it being Thursday, my teenage daughter was in school, and my husband was home awaiting a delivery of a bed (a delivery which, I might add, was a complete and utter disaster - some company - well, ok, Raft Furniture - managed to deliver just the headboard. In the meantime, we'd junked the old bed, mattress and the like - I am NOT happy. ANYWAY...). Plus, I don't like sweet potatoes. Or pumpkin pie. And a turkey is a bit much for just three people. Good, fresh turkey is difficult to get in the UK in November. So instead, we decided to roast a chicken as a kind of Thanksgiving-lite.

Roast chicken with stuffing and all the trimmings is still too time consuming and filling for a weekday (in my opinion, anyway). Much easier, and very tasty, is chicken with roasted vegetables - a sort of Mediterranean medley.

As with many of my recipes, this started life in a cookbook (a one pot cooking cookbook - my favourite kind), but has been adapted by me over time to suit our lifestyle and tastes. I hope you'll take this and make it your own too.

1 Chicken (rather important, this one) -
Weight, of course, dependent on how many you want to feed - the one we had last night was around one and a half kilos (just over three pounds) and we have plenty of leftovers.

Olive oil - quite a lot of it.
The original recipe gives a quantity in ml (and it's 150ml or more), but I just pour and look.

1/2 a lemon

A bunch of sprigs of fresh thyme

Small new potatoes - for the three of us, we used around 10 - larger ones I cut in half.

1 large red or yellow pepper (or green if you prefer) cut into chunks.

1 fennel bulb cut into quarters or thereabouts
We couldn't get fennel last night, so used red onion cut into chunks. Both work but give a very different flavour - fennel has a slightly aniseedy flavour. I like it, (though I don't usually like aniseed), but my daughter doesn't.

2 courgettes, cut into one inch cubes.
The original recipe calls for one large aubergine, but I don't like aubergine, so use courgettes instead. But if you like the purple eggplant, knock yourself out!

8 unpeeled garlic cloves (yum)

Salt and pepper

A large roasting tin
A rack, if you have one, for the chicken (we have one specifically for chicken - it's V shaped). This isn't necessary, but it is helpful.
Ummmmm...that's about it!

1. Preheat oven to 200 C or 390 F or gas mark 6.

1. Shove the lemon into the cavity of the chicken along with a few sprigs of thyme. Rub the chicken all over with olive oil and grind some black pepper all over it.

2. Put the chicken upside down (breast side down) on the rack (if using) in the large roasting tin (do use a large one, as the vegetables will be going in there later.)

3. Roast for half an hour.

4. After half an hour, take the chicken out of the oven. Baste it with the cooking juices and flip it over, removing the rack. Baste again, and add the potatoes to the roasting tin, rolling them in the cooking juices. Salt the chicken and the potatoes and put back in the oven. Roast for another half an hour.

5. After THAT half an hour, take the chicken out of the oven and add the remaining vegetables (including the garlic) to the pan. Pour some more oil to coat over the top of the vegetables, and season to taste. Tuck sprigs of thyme around the veg.

6. Stick the lot back in the oven. The veg will probably need another half an hour - I put the chicken out after around 10 or 15 minutes last night (I checked the thickest part of the thigh with a sharp knife - the juices ran clear). Obviously, if you're using a bigger bird, you'll need to leave the chicken in for longer - 30 - 50 minutes, apparently. I found the veg last night was perfect after just 30 minutes.

Since the chicken may be ready sooner than the veg, take the chicken out of the roasting tin and cover loosely with foil to let it rest for 15 minutes or so.

Carve and serve with the veg - you should find the skin is crisp and yummy and the vegetables fragrant. Enjoy with a good glass of white wine and fine company.

The next instalment in this sporadic recipe series might be what I have charmingly termed 'buggered chicken'. This is more commonly known as beer can chicken, should you be looking for pictures. Basically, the chicken is cooked either in an oven or on a barbeque butt side down. A beer can (or a pan especially designed for the purpose - I have both a beer can stand and a pan) is filled 2/3 full of beer, wine or cola along with lemon juice and herbs and spices of your choice and then shoved in the cavity of the chicken, and the chicken, having been rubbed with dried herbs and spices is cooked standing up. This is a lower fat way of cooking a bird (and a real conversation starter). I wouldn't try it with a 20lb turkey though!

Watch this space!

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Comments on this review

  • bazzaoleary77 published 22/03/2007
    Hiya great you have made me very hungry Barry
  • grafter123 published 15/12/2006
    sounds tasty - makes me feel hungry............eiley
  • elspeth334 published 06/12/2006
    Why do I read food reviews when I am hungry? Cheers Elspeth
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Product Information : Quick and Easy Recipes

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Listed on Ciao since: 18/03/2004