Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Jamie Oliver's Easy Roast Chicken

I have a confession to make...I am a terrible cook. Well, it's not like I burn everything I make, its just that everything I make comes out of a packet..or a jar...or a box. Basically, I can't cook anything from scratch. 

Until now. 

I promised myself (and my poor husband) that I would learn to cook a few things from scratch this year, nothing fancy, just good tasty home cooked food. I now know how to make (among other things) carrot and lentil soup, cottage pie, steak and chips and, as of Sunday, a roast chicken dinner!

Ta Dah!!! Doesn't it look delicious. (It totally was!)

I ever so slightly adapted this recipe from Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food book. When I say adapted what I really mean is that I couldn't find fresh Thyme at the supermarket so I had to make do with dried and I didn't add any garlic as my husband hates it. 

I also used this recipe for the gravy and this one for the roast veg and potatoes, both again from the Ministry of Food book. I added a little honey to the veg and some good old fashioned Bisto gravy powder to the gravy and they were both delicious. 

Jamie uses a vegetable trivet underneath the chicken which you can then use to make the gravy. I have to say it really was surprising quick to prepare it all as the veg only needed very roughly chopped. 

I parboiled some potatoes, carrots and parsnips before tossing them in a little oil, a little honey and some salt and pepper before putting them in the oven to roast in the bottom of the oven. I made some mashed potatoes too (because you can't have Sunday dinner without mashed potatoes) and I used a potato ricer to get them nice and fluffy.

I basted the chicken with juices in the bottom of the oven every now and then and the skin came out really crispy but not at all dry. The meat literally just fell off the bones it was so tender. I was so impressed that I not only managed to not mess the whole thing up, I actually loved the end result! This chicken is foolproof and gorgeous. 

I was so excited about using our lovely wedding china that I may have left the roast veg in the oven a few minutes longer than I should have so the veg was definitely crispy! It was still gorgeously sticky and sweet though so I didn't mind too much.

. *note to self - stop taking pictures of the pretty table setting next time and remember you are supposed to be cooking!*

I think it actually went really well for a first time. I'm so excited to learn more recipes and I love the idea of being able to cook a Sunday roast for my wee family, especially if we have kids in the future. I think I would like to learn how to cook roast beef next. 

I have a ton of cookbooks but I have to say I really enjoy Jamie Oliver's books. He seems to cater to people like me who are complete beginners and doesn't assume that everyone on the planet knows how to do simple things (like make gravy) and I find his recipes easy to follow. 

Does anyone have any good cookbook recommendations? Or any really great, can't live without, recipes they want to share?
I would really love to add a few more to my repertoire.