Sunday, 22 January 2012

Roast chicken on your Jack Jones

We all love a nice Sunday roast, but this is the 21st century, house prices are going up, we're all marrying and owning homes much later in life... basically, the idea of cooking something like a roast just for yourself can seem like a lot of fuss and bother, leading to a tendency to have Bachelors Super Noodles and a few cans of special brew before crying into your pillow about how you've wasted your life and no-one will ever love you.  Not anymore!

I recommend buying a good quality chicken at the beginning of the month, jointing it yourself (guide coming soon) and freezing each individual part separately.  You can get several decent meals out of one chicken that way rather than just buying a bag of frozen breast fillets.  I've been fairly minimalist with this recipe as it's all about the juicy chicken, crispy skin and fragrant garlic and rosemary.

  • 1 chicken leg
  • 2 whole garlic cloves
  • Good handful of white cabbage leaves, washed
  • 1 medium sized red potato
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-3 tbsps of olive oil
  • 250ml good quality chicken stock
  • 1 level tbsp plain flour
  • A couple of knobs of butter
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Get your chicken out of the oven at least half an hour before you want to cook it so that it can adjust to room temperature.  This will help it to cook evenly.
  2. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees.  Smash a garlic clove and put it in a small roasting tin with a bay leaf, then the chicken leg and finally a sprig of rosemary on top.  Season the chicken well with plenty of salt and pepper, drizzle a bit of olive oil and stick it in the hot oven.  If you like you can french trip the drumstick prior to putting it in the oven, but as you can see from the above pic, I forgot to do that.
  3. After 20 minutes, baste the chicken with a spoon, then lower the heat to 180 degrees and cook for a further half hour.
  4. Meanwhile, shred your cabbage leaves (a good, sharp, heavy knife with a big blade will make this easy) and slice your potato into slices that are roughly 5mm thick - don't do them too thick or they won't cook in the centre.  Heat a frying pan to a medium-high heat and add a liberal splash of olive oil.  Season the potato slices and put them in the pan, seasoned-side down.  Saute them for a few minutes until they're crispy and golden, then turn them over.  Chuck in a smashed garlic clove, a rosemary sprig and some butter.  When the aroma of loveliness fills the air, baste the potatoes with a spoon.
  5. When the chicken is done, rest it and the potatoes in a warm place (i.e. the oven you just turned off with the door open) to let the meat relax and stop the potatoes from going cold while you do the next bit.  Fry your cabbage in the potato pan, season it and add a little drop of water to stop it from burning.  It should only take a few minutes to cook because this isn't 1957.  Put the chicken roasting tin on a ring on the hob and turn up the heat, stir in the flour to make a roux, then add the chicken stock, scrap any sediment off the bottom of the tin and reduce to taste.  Strain the gravy into the jug and pour it generously over the chicken.

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