Sunday, March 10, 2013

Eat Something Sunday: White Wine Roast Chicken dinner

A favorite discovery while living in the UK is the British love of a roast dinner. Roast beef, roast pork, roast chicken - whatever the meat, they'll have it roasted. And mostly on Sunday. Any good pub offers at least one Sunday Roast special. It's as ubiquitous in the UK as the Friday Night Fish Fry is in Wisconsin.

After I conquered my first Thanksgiving a few years ago, I decided learning to roast things that aren't turkeys couldn't be that hard. Happily, I was correct! This recipe is my go to. Roasted low and slow, with a bold finish, it's delish and simple! Add to that a serving of roast potatoes that are golden & crunchy on the outside while creamy on the inside, some tasty gravy and a Yorkshire Pudding and it's a perfect homey meal - for Sunday or any day you have a bit of time for making dinner. If you're an American saying "what the heck is a Yorkshire Pudding?" just give it a go. They're a delicious popover-esque bread-like accompaniment to a roast and make for excellent gravy soaker-uppers. I'm 95% certain most people will love them. (I may have eaten all the leftover ones the day after I made this meal recently…)

White Wine Roast Chicken
adapted from BBC Good Food

~ 5lb chicken
1 head of garlic, halved horizontally
1/4 - 1/2 cup white wine (to taste)
1/2 cup chicken stock OR 1 Knorr stock jelly dissolved in hot water (my preference - I LOVE those things)
rosemary, to taste
1 lemon, cut in wedges
butter, for greasing

Preheat oven to 325° F

1 - Grease your pan & slather the skin of your chicken with butter.
2 - Place the open-faced garlic around the chicken & pour over the wine & stock.

3 - Cover with foil and put it in the oven for 1 hour
4 - After 1 hour, add the lemon, sprinkle over the rosemary, & baste if desired. You might want/need to use your baster to remove some of the pan juices at this time if you have a smaller roasting pan & they're getting too high. Just keep them for gravy later! Remove foil and cook uncovered for 50 minutes

5 - Turn up the heat to 425° F and bake for 30 final minutes. (Again, baste if desired and remove excess pan juices if necessary). This will brown the skin up and make everything amazing.
6 - After removing from oven. cover with foil & allow to rest for at least 15 minutes before serving.

And on to the potatoes...

Crispy & Creamy Roast Potatoes

2 lb. (ish) potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/4 cup semolina
lard (or goose fat, if you can find it)

1 - Par-boil potatoes for 8 minutes and allow them to dry a bit and cool down completely.

2 - Toss the potatoes with the semolina just enough that they have a light coating.
3 - Put the fat into your pan in a 425° F oven (around step 5 of the chicken time) and allow it to get sizzly. There should be about 3/4in. of fat in the pan

I overcrowded mine a bit. Best to leave more room

4 - Pop the potatoes in the pan and give them a gentle shake to allow all sides to get lightly coated in oil.
5 - Roast for 45minutes - 1 hour, turning about halfway until they look browned and crispy.

For my Yorkshire Puddings, I use this recipe. It's incredibly simple and so long as you don't open your oven door, you'll get perfect Yorkshires every time! So simple that I didn't bother photographing it as it's really just mixing the ingredients and pouring into a hot hot pan with oil. People seem to act like Yorkshires are tricky or time-consuming and really they're neither.

My roast dinner timeline goes like this:
- Chicken in oven
- add lemons, etc. to chicken
- peel & chop potatoes
- parboil potaotes
- turn up heat on chicken
- place potato pan on top shelf of oven to heat oil
- toss potatoes in semolina
- potatoes in oven
- get Yorkshire pan ready with oil
- remove chicken from oven, place on platter, cover & rest.
- strain pan juices for gravy
- turn up oven the last bit to Yorkshire Pudding temperature
- put Yorkshire pan into oven to heat oil
- put Yorkshires in oven
- make gravy
- remove potaotes & Yorkshires

I hope some of you will try this dinner out. It does take a bit of time, but a lot of that time isn't super active. It's definitely something you can do while also watching TV or reading. Just keep a timer nearby and you'll have a really special meal.


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