Up until last week I had never made a full roast dinner before. People have made roasts and I’ve helped to peel and chop the veg, but I’d never actually executed one all by myself. And, of course, even though it definitely could have gone majorly wrong, I still decided to blog it while I did.
Now normally, experimenting with foods with a camera in hand would be fine. I can get away with making things for the first time when I’m just making them for myself. Even if it goes wrong I’ll nine out of ten times still eat it, and it also doesn’t matter if the timings are off as it’s only me who’s waiting.
However, this time there was the added pressure of the fact that I was trying to produce the roast for the rest of the clan. Which meant that there was no chance I was going to get away with messing up that much food and leaving my taste-testers hungry while I struggled to get my act together.
That said, it all worked out splendidly! Everything was ready at the same time, and it was all plated and served still piping hot. Not going to lie, I’m a little bit proud of myself right now.
Check out how it went below, I’ve left the recipe at the bottom:
What you will need (categorised by component):
1 Whole Chicken
2 Large handfuls of thyme
3 Cloves of garlic, finely sliced
Salt and pepper
2 Teaspoons of lemon juice
Salt and pepper
Shallots, peeled and halfed
1 Clove of Garlic
2 Tablespoons of honey
1 Teaspoon of Balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and Pepper
What to do:
*** Prepare the chicken before hand to allow it to marinade for at least 2 hours, overnight would be best
1. Cut the lemon in half. Juice one half and set the juice aside. Slice the other half into thin rings.
2. Baste the inside of the chicken with oil and then place the lemon rings, chopped garlic, 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and 1 handful of thyme inside.
3. Now, pierce the skin and insert the rest of the garlic and the thyme inside of the breast bone and the meatier parts of the chicken.
4. Rub down the outside of the chicken with some olive oil, drizzle over the remaining lemon juice and season with salt and pepper before setting aside to marinate.
Meanwhile you can start preparing your veg:
5. For the carrots, mix the honey, balsamic vinegar and olive oil together. Next, place the carrots on a baking tray and pour the mixture over them, making sure that they are all evenly coated. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
6. For the shallots and parsnips, place them in another baking tray drizzle a good amount of olive oil over them, scatter in the chopped garlic, some thyme, then season and set aside.
7. Now parboil your potatoes, drain and set aside to allow the rest of the moisture to evaporate.
*** Assuming you’ve bought your chicken from the supermarket, it will probably have instructions on it for how long you should cook the meat for and at what temperature. I recommend following these as they’re tailored to the weight of your bird.
For those of you who haven’t got the same set up, we have a fan oven and I set it to 190c and the chicken was in for 1hr30
8. Preheat the oven and your chicken dish at the required temperature.
9. Once the oven is hot enough, whip your dish out and transfer the chicken into it. Cover loosely with tinfoil and cook for 30 minutes.
10. After 30 minutes remove the tinfoil and return the chicken to the oven. It’s around this time that you want to start thinking about your vegetables.
11. Begin with your potatoes. Now that the moisture has evaporated, add the oil, lemon juice and seasoning.
12. Then, when your bird has about 40-50 minutes left open the oven door and add the potatoes in the chicken dish. Shove your parsnips, shallots and carrots in with the rest and leave to cook.
13. When you’ve got 5 minutes left on your roast cook your broccoli and asparagus in pans of boiling water.
14. Drain the veg once cooked
15. By now everything should be ready to serve but don’t forget to make your gravy. Pour the chicken fat over about 3 tablespoons of gravy granules. Add extra boiling water if needed.
My stepmother gave me a few pointers and tips on how to make this, which is probably why it worked out so well.
My favourite tip from her was for the baby potatoes. Adding the lemon juice just means that you get a lovely citrus edge, and then after soaking up all the juices of the bird you’re left with a crisp skin and flavoursome fluffy interior.
Drowned my diner in gravy like a good Northern girl hehe.
If you give this recipe a go then let me know how it turns out. I didn’t manage to get a deep crispy brown on the skin of my chicken (mine was more of a golden brown) but if you’ve got any tips on how to achieve that look then do please let me know!
Asaf Avidan, Once day Reckoning Song (Wankelmut Remix)
– Making this has made me feel like a successful adult, is that weird?