Let’s Toast to the Roast.

24 Aug

Nothing beats a good roast dinner. It covers all the major food groups (protein, carbohydrate, vegetable… sometimes) and tastes utterly delicious. It’s easy to prepare, doesn’t require loads of time devoted to it and, best of all, stretches for days with leftovers. Beef can be used for sandwiches, stews and stocks; lamb for, well, the same; and chicken for all of the above as well as pasta and salads. The roast really is the best all rounder.

There are so many different flavour options when roasting meat. You can go Moroccan or Indian with spicy marinades and rubs, Italian with herbs like basil and oregano, French with garlic or tarragon, or Australian with funky brown lacquer and bready stuffing. But I like to keep it simple with garlic, lemon, salt and pepper. Again, the roast’s diversity makes it an almost perfect meal.

Now when purchasing your chosen meat, don’t be daunted by the seemingly expensive price tag. Sure, the meat might set you back 10 to 20 dollars, but when considering its long life and versatility, it really is worth it. You can always pick up meat on special and, if you’re really desperate, buy one of those two-chickens-for-5-dollars deals. I did once, and, although they were tiny and the meat almost non-existant, bar the chewy scraps found on the thighs, they managed to satisfy my roast craving.

But do go for the best you can afford. On this particular instance, we were lucky enough to have two other people putting in for the chicken and decided to go free range. The quality of the meat is considerably better – producing a more tasty and moist end result. It’s also a more ethical, chicken-friendly way to go.

As a side note, I apologise for the retro, ’70s era-looking photo. Fixing up the effects of bad fluro lighting is quite hard.

Retro Garlic and Lemon Roasted Chicken.

Garlic and Lemon Roast Chicken with Herbed Potatoes

500g potatoes, washed and chopped into quarters

2 TBSP olive oil

1 TBSP dried mixed herbs

1 medium-size whole chicken

1/2 a lemon

7 cloves of garlic

50g butter

salt and pepper

1. Fill a medium saucepan with cold water and add the potatoes.

2. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer, covering the saucepan with a lid.

3. Once the potatoes are almost fully cooked (there should still be some resistance when pierced with a fork), remove from the heat and drain.

4. Place back in the saucepan with the olive oil and herbs and season well with salt and pepper.

5. With the lid on, shake the saucepan around to coat the potatoes. This will also give them a rough surface for roasting, which produces a crisper exterior. But seriously, make sure you hold on tight to that lid. A hot potato to the face can hurt.

6. Preheat the oven to 200C.

7. Place the chicken in a roasting pan and squeeze the lemon juice all over it.

8. Place the squeezed lemon inside the cavity, along with the cloves of garlic.

9. Peel back the skin on top of the breast and stuff half the butter down each side. Basically the butter will be between the skin and the meat.

10. Rub the remaining butter all over the chicken. As well as producing a nice crisp skin, it’s very therapeutic.

11. Season liberally with salt and pepper.

12. Scatter the potatoes around the chicken and place in the oven.

13. Roast for around 45 minutes to an hour, or until the skin browns and the potatoes are crisp.

14. Serve.

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2 Responses to “Let’s Toast to the Roast.”

  1. Alex August 24, 2010 at 7:52 am #

    You’re a kitchen star, I really enjoy your blog and it never fails to inspire me… to yell at the people around me to make me food that sounds as delicious as this.
    If you’ll excuse me, there’s someone in my kitchen who needs my encouragement.
    x

  2. chocolatesuze August 24, 2010 at 5:28 pm #

    yum there’s nothing better than a roasted chook!

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