Recipe: The Roast Dinner.

So I mentioned last week that something new would be appearing on my blog this week and here it is.  My Sunday dinner ‘recipe’.   I use the word recipe very loosely however as Sunday dinner is mainly about timing and there is not much mixing of ingredients.  I just wanted to show that you don’t have to be a great cook to create a tasty dinner which is filling and home-made!  I’ve never pretended to be a great cook but a roast is something that I love to make!  I roped in my trusty kitchen assistant to help me so I could take photos but it really is simple enough for one person to do.  Let me just re-iterate that this isn’t really a recipe   More of a ‘how not to burn or under do a Sunday dinner’.
You will need:
1 Whole Chicken
2 – 3 Knobs of Butter
Herbs and seasoning (I used rosemary and thyme then salt and pepper)
Potatoes big enough to cut into sizeable roasters
A Knob of Lard
More Potatoes to make into Mash (I recommend 3 medium potatoes per person will be enough)
Stuffing Mix
An assortment of vegetables of your choice (I used carrots and green beans)
Gravy Granuals
Pre-made frozen Yorkshire Puddings
1.  Check the time it will take to cook your chicken.  I’ve always lived by the 45 minutes per kilo plus 20 minutes.  My little chicken here will take 1hr and 15 minutes at gas mark 5/ 190 degrees.  Preheat the over.
2. Make an incision on each side of the chicken on the breast area.  Get some butter and rub it underneath the skin.  This helps keep the chicken really moist while it cooks.  Then rub some butter on top of the skin and sprinkle with some herbs.  I like parsley, thyme and rosemary (no idea if there should go together but it tastes great at the end).  I also sprinkle some around the pan so that when my roasters are doing they get a bit of seasoning too!  Also add some salt and pepper!
3. Put the chicken in the oven and peel some potatoes to make roasters.  Once pealed, chop them in half and part boil.  I do this by placing the potatoes in cold water, bringing to the boil, leaving it there for 5 minutes then bring down and simmer for 10 minutes.
4. While the potatoes are simmering, melt a chunk of lard at the bottom of the roasting tin.  It doesn’t have to be a specific amount but as long as between that, the chicken fat and the melted butter you have enough to baste your roasters then thats ok.
5. Add the roasters to the roasting tin and baste. Also, give the chicken a quick baste too!
6.  With about 35 minutes to go, I peel my potatoes for my mash and repeat step 3 except I leave them for around half an hour on a light simmer.  This is also the time I start my stuffing.  Always follow the instructions on the side of the stuffing packet as nobody like overly saturated stuffing!  Don’t forget to add a knob of butter too and leave to stand for 5 minutes before putting it in the oven (most take around 30 minutes to cook!)
7. With around 20 minutes to go, I prepare my vegetables (I only eat carrots and green beans but I know a lot of people like peas, broccoli and cauliflower with their Roast dinners!) put them in cold water, bring to the boil then simmer until I”m ready to start dishing up.  Oh and baste that chicken and the roasters again!! Also, turn the roasters over!
8.  With around 7 minutes to go, I boil the kettle for my gravy.  Now I must warn you, I don’t use specific chicken gravy.  I have beef gravy on everything because it is so god damn tasty.  I also put my yorkshire puddings in the oven on the bottom shelf.  For this ‘recipe’ I’ve chosen to use pre-made yorkshires as the focus really is on timing but at big family gatherings my uncle whips out the traditional batter recipe and you won;t find a pre-made Yorkshire pud in sight!
9.  When your chicken has been in for the allotted time, take it out and leave it to stand for a few minutes before carving.  Always check that it is fully cooked all the way through before serving.  I love breast meat, James likes leg so divvy up the chicken so everybody gets some of their favourite part!
10. Drain your potatoes which should be lovely and soft by now, add a few splashes of milk and a knob of butter or marg and mash until all the lumps have gone.  I know some people that mash for a bit then all it to the blender to get a really creamy mash potato!
11.  Drain the vegtables while serving the roasters, stuffing and yorkshire puds.  Stick the kettle back on to boil so its piping hot!.  Your vegetables may need a little toss around the the collinder so that all the water is removed, then add them to the plate!
12.  For gravey add a few teaspoons of gravey granuals to a measuring jug and pour in all the excess fat from the bottom of the roasting pan. Mix them together and add a little water from the boiling kettle.  Keep mixing and adding more water until you have enough volume for everybodies dinners.  If you need to thicken your gravey, add more granuals.!
…and it really is that simple.  Not much ‘cooking’ involved and I guess the creater of the roast dinner is turning in his grave but this dish really is all about timing!!  It’s so easy, I believe that anybody could do it!!
I hope you enjoyed this post and that it inspires some of you to try to make a Sunday dinner, perhaps over Easter weekend.  No pressure!! 😉