Roasting chicken? Roasting potatoes? Roasting apples?

I love roast chicken. Seriously say “Winner, winner chicken dinner” to me and I am running to the store to buy a bird! The first meal I ever cooked for Chef Tim Haigh was a simple roast chicken and I have the scars from my meat thermometer to prove how nervous I was! Since then I have stuck rigidly to the same recipe – Jamie Oliver’s roast chicken from his book “Food Revolution”

Browsing through Cúarte I found the recipe for Lemon Rosemary Roast Chicken with potatoes and apples. The actual chicken itself is not that different to my old faithful, but the cooking method and the addition of the apples was a fun experiment. I misread the recipe at first and thought the chicken was roasted directly on the over rack which is the method I use for lamb at Easter, and to be honest I was worried about how this would work, quite simply because you just don’t get the amount of drippings from chicken. I took a third and maybe fourth look and realized how it needed to be cooked. I placed the peeled and chopped apples and potatoes in a small roasting pan with a wire cooling rack over it and then it was easy peasey! The potatoes and apples are tossed with olive oil before cooking, and the chicken is generously rubbed with oil and that’s all you really need. I deviated from the recipe in that I roasted the potatoes and apples for about 30 minutes before I put the chicken in, and this resulted in sweet, soft apples and crisp, golden potatoes. I added some tricolor carrots and I have to pat myself on the back for this one. The chicken was moist, and falling off the bone, I purposefully undercooked the carrots so they kept their color and their crunch. I would love to say that Poppy tried the chicken, but although she had told me how excited she was to eat it, in the end it was of course a PB&J. It was fun to share the meal with Vanessa, Elizabeth and Tim, to eat around the table with conversation and wine flowing.

Now cooking in the knee brace was a bit tricky, because I truly have to pay attention to where my knee is – although the brace is hinged I have learned the hard way that one centimeter at the wrong angle and the pain is awful. We did imbibe a fair bit of rosé so at least I was able to ignore the pain somewhat…..

I had planned to make albondigas tonight, but my orthopedist gave me vicodin yesterday, and given that I haven’t taken anything stronger than ibuprofen for a very long time the vicodin knocked me on my bum.  Seriously , I took one this morning and slept for 3 hours….The albondigas will be prepared in the morning ready to eat after my MRI…

 

Finding What I Lost Along The Way

Since this is largely about finding what I lost along the way, it seems only fair to start with a simple French classic – pain perdu.

Walking around Whole Foods yesterday picking up some items I know I will need on this journey (more to follow on that one) I spotted the rack of beautiful, fluffy, golden brioche and I just could not resist. “The LIttle paris Kitchen” has a lovely, simple recipe for this French classic served with a cherry compote. I truly never expected to make the compote, but I always have cherries in the freezer, and really what could be simpler than cherries and powdered sugar? I doubled the batter quantities, but halved the compote. I did this expecting Poppy to try it, and given that she had lots of fun helping me make it I was hopeful of new food breakthrough with her this morning. Alas that was not to be, and she had PB&J.

But back to the pain perdu – I cannot stress how easy this was, and certainly worthwhile for a weekend breakfast. The compote is not as sweet as you would expect, and using brioche results in a lovely, eggy, rich bread.

I get the rest of the day off as a Chef Tim Haigh is cooking dinner tonight, and I am turning my thoughts to the rest of the week and challenges cooking dinner will bring, and working out how to drag Rob into this as my prep cook……He is actually a better chef than he lets on, but generally his talents lie with the jars of Pataks curry sauce, the slow cooker and the grill. 19787086_10106467658212992_8935276504327364879_o