I am expecting to get many hits on this particular blog post. There have been drooling responses and emails and tweets and comments for this recipe picture! :) So let me cut directly to the chase coz' Roast Chicken with Potatoes is something that every single one of us would describe in a different way. For some it may classify as soul food, for some an absolute feast and for a rare crowd it is something that needs copious amounts of heat and spice added over to it. But for me, this dish means warmth. You feel at home anywhere you have this dish and that is why I decided to make it with the best friend, our mini cooking assignment!
I decided to also add in Sweet Potatoes along with normal Potatoes and I personally like them better than the normal potatoes when roasted. So here we go!
Roast Chicken, Roast Assorted Thyme Potatoes and Gravy
Recipe : Inspired by Jamie Oliver and loosely by Google searching.
For the Roast Chicken:
1 Whole Chicken (approximately 1 kg, mine was 1.2 kg), skin on.
1 Lemon (Pop it into the microwave for 40 seconds to induce maximum flavor, alternatively prick with fork)
2 sprigs of Rosemary
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1 tbsp Butter, softened.
2 Onions, cut into two (no need to peel)
Small bunch of Celery, roughly chopped
1 Bulb of Garlic, broken down to cloves (no need to peel)
1 medium Carrot, cut roughly (no need to peel)
Mixed herbs (Optional)
For the Potatoes:
5 medium Potatoes, peeled and cut into 3 pieces of each
3 medium Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cut
2 sprigs of Thyme
1/2 cup Olive Oil (Any neutral oil will do)
1 tsp Butter
Salt to Taste
For the Gravy:
Juices from the Chicken
Salt & Pepper
1 tbsp Flour
1 1/2 cup Chicken Stock (Or water boiled with Maggi Chicken Cube-half)
Preheat the oven to 190C/375F
Cutting the Potatoes : You basically have to make sure that there is a lot of surface area for the Potatoes to get some color and crust on them.
Parboiling the Potatoes : Put all the Potatoes with cold water in a deep pan on high heat till it comes to a rolling boil, then reduce heat to medium low and let cook for 10 minutes. Drain the Potatoes and transfer the back in the pan for Bruising.
Bruising the Potatoes : Here is why it is important to Bruise the Potatoes. You get an amazing crust and those bruised bits become nice and brown and yummy! So put a lid on the pan, and imagine the face of the person you hate the most, and then shake the living daylights out of the pan. And you end up with this gorgeousness.
Baking the Potatoes: Add the Oil in your Baking Tray with the Thyme. Put it inside the Oven as it Preheats. The Oil would get nice and hot by then. Pull the dish out of the Oven when it is Preheated (careful, it's hot) and then Place the Potatoes in with the side which has the maximum surface area touching the base of the dish. Add bits of Butter and bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove when browned, you could also turn them mid-way.
I baked the Potatoes and Chicken together, Potatoes at the Bottom and Chicken on the top rack but had to return the Potatoes for some more time in the Oven since they did not really get brown due to sitting at the bottom. So you could either bake them separately or together, choice is yours :)
Cleaning the Chicken: Make sure the Chicken is nicely rinsed. Trim off the neck and wing tips and set aside. Now you need to make sure that the Chicken is DRY. There should be no wetness (or very little wetness) on the Chicken if you want to get the beautiful Brown color on the Roast. I used paper towels as well as a kitchen Tea Towel to wipe it dry.
Trussing the Chicken: Now, I trussed the Chicken completely by memory of watching Gary do it last year on MasterChef Australia's MasterClass. But here is how you can do it :) Trussing the bird is important for even cooking and shape!
Assembly: In a greased baking tray, make a small hill of all the cut veggies except Lemon, 6 Garlic cloves and Rosemary sprigs. Add in the neck piece and wing tips too. Sprinkle salt, drizzle a little Oil.
Flavoring and Seasoning the Chicken : This is the simple bit. Just Pop the Lemon, Garlic cloves and Rosemary Sprigs inside the cavity. Sprinkle Salt and Pepper and massage that baby real well. Transfer it and make it sit BREAST SIDE UP on top of the veggie hill on the baking tray. Put bits of Butter all over the Chicken skin.
Roasting the Chicken: Roast the Chicken for 30-35 minutes. Mine took 35 minutes for that nice crisp skin. Let it cool for 5 minutes on the tray, baste it with the juices from the tray and then transfer it to another dish and again let it rest for a further 15 minutes. In the mean while, make the gravy.
While the Bird rests, Puree all the veggies (remove chicken neck and wing tips) with the Chicken Stock and add more water if needed to make it like a soup. Strain this puree. Add in all the residual juices from the chicken whatever is collected at the bottom of the tray. Mix it all together. Put all this on the boil and add the chicken neck and wing tips to it too. When it comes to the boil, add 1 tbsp Flour and whisk well so no lumps are formed. Taste and then season with salt if needed. Add lots of cracked Pepper. Strain this darling sauce and add into a gravy boat or any other pouring vessel.
There we go!! ALL DONE! :D
Enjoy your meal!!
P.S. I dedicate this meal to Anuja from Simple Baking for giving me all those lovely awards on her last blog post :)
I also dedicate this meal to Meghna from Cynical Vagabond. She did the sweetest thing ever, she blogged about my blog!!