Did last nights chicken live up to expectations?
It was tasty and moist, a good crispy skin and the stuffing was nicely spiced – although my husband thought we were having a rice stuffing in homage to the cricket (England v West Indies) – quite!
Cooking time wise it had 25 minutes at Gas 7 (220C/425F) followed by 90 minutes at Gas 5 (190C/375F) being 20 minutes per pound/450g of weight excluding the stuffing. I’ve found this method works well and with a large chicken comes out pretty spot on each time. A smaller chicken (less than about 3lb) may need up to 20 minutes extra, but I’d always recommend going for the largest chicken you can get so you have plenty of leftovers.
We carved it by first removing both legs and then taking off one side of the breast meat in one piece and then slicing it cross wise, this is trick my husband picked up from a Jamie Oliver TV show and is much easier than slicing the breast in the traditional way. On this size of chicken we shared this one side and that leaves us 2 legs, the other breast and the carcass for all sorts of goodies later in the week.
No pictures of it plated up sorry but was too keen to dig in and eat
Its been pretty cold the last day or so with a snow fall of about 6 inches today – something we haven’t seen for a long time (18 years according to the records). So its mostly all about curling up near the heater/fire/radiator with a warm drink and a small snack whilst contemplating which warming dish to have for lunch or dinner.
Soups and stews are the order of the day and better still if there are a few things to hand to cook one up relatively quickly. Who wants to have to scrape the snow off the car to go and get dinner in weather like this when the time could be better spent making snowmen and going for a brisk walk? So its been a search in the fridge and cupboards for things that can quickly be rustled up into hearty dishes.
Porridge for breakfast – always good on a cold day; then a soup for lunch made from onion, canned beans, sliced leftover sausage (salami, ham or bacon would also do the trick) and the last bits of a cabbage – a kind of muddled up caldo verdo/minestrone.
The search for dinner possibilities revealed beef stew leftovers (always happens when there are two of you to feed – stew and casserole recipes don’t seem to be devised for less than 4 – but hey why worry when they are almost always tastier on the second go). We added some big field mushrooms and then some pasta which we cooked and stirred in at the last minute.
All good warming dishes, no trip to the shops needed and plenty of chance to make snowmen because there won’t be another chance to do that for nearly 20 years!