|Poor perspective - this was the Pamela Anderson of chickens|
The husband doesn't "do" roast dinner. We might have roast beef once a year after which he complains that there's too much washing up and that he shouldn't have eaten such a heavy meal at 7pm. Oh and I forgot the bit where he scrapes the gravy off of every bit of meat, searching for the slightest hint of blush in the flesh. He needn't worry - I now microwave his so it's as tough as old shoe leather (such a waste). I then announce that roast dinner is too stressful and I will never cook it again. A year passes, we forget the fuss and the whole drama plays out all over again. Just like Groundhog day. Except he's a bit balder and I'm a little greyer.
So when I finally admitted we were having roast chicken for tea, he rolled his eyes like Miss A does when I tell her she's got to eat what the grown-ups are eating and I know she'd much rather have a chocolate Philly and peanut butter sandwich. This set the atmosphere for the rest of the day. A bit of sulking. Lots of suspicion. But he's the one who's supposedly on a health kick and when he asked me yesterday why I only feed him stuff from Tiers Four and Five of Michi's Ladder, he got a short shrift because he won't eat anything from the first three tiers.
In essence, the recipe is for a pot roast chicken in a red pepper, tomato and carrot sauce. There was nothing for him to not like. True, he doesn't 'do vegetables, but I figured it was pretty much like a fresh version of Heinz tomato soup (overly sweet and orange) which he loves.
It's pretty simple to make. Stick everything in a casserole, cook for an hour and a half, blitz the cooking juices and carrots, carve and serve. A few roasties on the side and veg for me, peas for him (peas aren't a vegetable according to the husband) and we were done.
|Ready for the oven|
This now means that I will have to find lots of other recipes where the chicken is poached rather than baked (his technique, not mine). But hey, I've got a tick in the box for this blog. I got him eating something new. Result.
Because it was only the three of us, there was so much sauce left, that I've saved it for lunch tomorrow to eat as a soup. Which is a good excuse for me to make Dan Lepard's soup bread from today's Guardian as tomorrow's recipe. Double result.
And I then realised that today is also Bastille Day so I've also ticked the 'National Celebrations' box with this recipe. Without even trying. Yay me.
Recipe - serves 4-6
- 1.8kg free range chicken (without giblets)
- 350ml fresh chicken stock
- 50g carrots, diced if large and whole (I used baby Chanteray ones)
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1 bulb garlic
- small bunch parsley
- 1/4 tsp dried basil
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 250ml red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- Maldon sea salt and cayenne pepper
- Preheat the oven to 190c/170c fan.
- Separate the garlic cloves and peel half. Place the unpeeled garlic cloves in the chicken's cavity along with most of the parsley (reserve a few sprigs for the garnish).
- Season the chicken well with sea salt and cayenne pepper
- Put the chicken in a lidded casserole dish. Arrange the peeled garlic cloves, red pepper and carrots around the chicken and pour over the stock.
- Cover and bake for 1.5 hours or until the juices run clear when a skewer is poked into one of the legs.
- Whilst the chicken is baking, boil the vinegar until reduced to about 2-3 tbsp. Put into a blender with the basil, oregano and tomato puree.
- When the chicken is cooked, lift it out onto a plate and pour the cooking juices and vegetables into the blender. Blitz until you have a smooth sauce. If it's a little runny, put in a saucepan and simmer for a few minutes until reduced.
- Carve the chicken and pour the sauce over, garnishing with the remaining parsley.