Friday, June 25, 2010

How to be Nice & Roast chuck

Its pretty simple, most of the time.  Reflective in the great simplicity of the word - 'nice'.  But sometimes it feels like all you're doing is talking a lot of talk and walking a lot of walk and not reeeeally getting the message through.  Apart from misleading other nice walkers it can fustrate even the most patient of us.
So in order to be straight, I reckon sometimes you have to bend off the little path of nice.  And be straight.  And say it:
"Ah, (straight talk inserted here), thank you".

This is a recipe - which in my mind is straight.  It ain't no chicken in goose down - it just is.  Don't think about it, just cook it.   Although do bear in mind who you cook it for - this is a good dish for friends and Sundays.  And Mondays actually...

Roast Chuck

1 large chicken - about 2kg in weight - the absolute best your money can buy.  Organic, free range, open aired - anything close to having it come straight from your back yard
1 lemon
salt and pepper
drizzle of honey (if you can get your hands on local eg Iringa honey that has a whole lot of florally sugarness - do!!!)

2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
2 onions, sliced into wedges
garlic pieces - not peeled

1.  Preheat the oven - 160C.
2.  So take a nice large roasting tin - this bird needs breathing space - and lay down the the onions and carrots.  We'll throw the garlic pieces in later so they don't burn.
3.  Wash and dry the chicken with paper towel - its a little fussy but a dry skin cooked is a crisp skin.   Sit the bird happily on the layer of onions and carrots, and squeeze over the juice of the lemon.  If you like a lemony roast, nows the time to put those lemon halves in the cavity.  Feel free to tie the legs together.
4.  Grind over the pepper and salt, and place in the oven.
5.  Baste the chuck every 30 minutes - there should be lots of juices in the pan.
6.  After 1.5hrs, add the garlic pieces - a handful or so - and drizzle over the honey.
7.  Place the bird back in the oven for another 30 mins - a total cooking time of 2 hours at this temperature.
8.  Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving.
9.  Whilst you are waiting, make the gravy by removing the carrots and onions from the pan (if you want to eat them, if not, leave them in for a more robust flavour), then whisking in the flour.
10.  Add enough liquid to the pan to get enough gravy for your bunch, and taste for seasoning.  Whisk for about 5 minutes, then serve.  (In winter I have been known to add a bit of cream to the gravy.  'Alo soldier.)

11.  Frangipani, please test and review recipe. ;)

Right, just off to work hard and be nice.

~ hibiscus

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