12 April 2015

Egg Painting 2015

A couple of years back, my Mum came across a method of painting eggs using silk ties and so we decided to try it out this year.

I asked my lovely nieces to bring along some colourful printed silk ties from charity shops. The uglier the better really. I'd also found a few and so we set about to rip them up. This needs to be done fairly gently and the idea is to open them up and remove the stiff fabric inside and just have the thin silk left.

Once this is done, we cut off pieces large enough to cover one egg, we wet the silk under the tap, then covered one egg, making sure to have the front side of the fabric towards the egg shell and also making sure it stuck to the surface with no gaps.

The next thing was to wrap in a piece of cheese cloth and tie tightly using wire ties I have left over from various food bags I've bought in the past.

Once all eggs were covered like that, we placed them in a a casserole dish, poured hot water onto them to cover completely. I added a bout 1 dl of white wine vinegar put the lid on and put the casserole dish to boil. I also fired up the extractor fan and also opened the windows and closed the kitchen door.

20 minutes later, I took the casserole dish off the hob and put under the cold water tap to speed up the cooling.

Once the eggs were cool enough, Lou, Falbala and Lou's boyfriend came over to unwrap the eggs and inspect the results. I tried one chicken egg and one duck egg and curiously enough, the duck egg didn't take to the silk paints as well.

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It could be because I might have wrapped the duck egg with the inside side of the silk, but I don't think so. I had a couple of other ties, which had a woven effect and they didn't transfer well at all. So it must be a flat printed pattern and 100% silk and I suspect a silk scarf would work just as well. The cheese cloth can be swapped for pieces of old pillow cases, but should be white and the purpose I think is to prevent the silk colours from mixing up. Just make sure the kitchen is well ventilated while boiling because it smells really bad. But this was good fun and very easy and there are plenty of ties left over for next year. I'll just have to make sure to take a photo before they all disappear off.

Easter Dessert

To finish off our lovely meal at Easter Sunday, I'd picked out one from my recipe card collection (which is still growing a lot faster than I can try things out). IMG_4573

I had to make some adjustments of course - I opted for vege-gel, rather than gelatin and I had to make two alcohol free ones. The recipe card was for 4 portions, I re-calculated for 11, and ended up with spare jelly, which Lundulph and I gobbled up a few days later.

Ingredients

Alcoholic version for 9
900 ml sweet rose wine
225 g golden caster sugar
2 sachets vege-gel 2 pinches of dried lavender
450 g raspberries

Non-alcoholic version for 2
200 ml pink soft drink
40 g golden caster sugar
small pinch dried lavender
100 g raspberries
half a sachet vege-gel

To serve
whipping cream
icing sugar, 1 tbsp/dl cream

Method

  1. Place the rose wine and the sugar in a saucepan and heat up gently to dissolve the sugar, but not to boil.
  2. Distribute the raspberries into serving glasses, 50 g per person.
  3. Turn the heat up a little and stir the vege-gel powder into the wine/sugar mixture and just bring to the boil, then remove from the hob and quickly distribute over the raspberries to just about cover them, but use a strainer to catch the bits of dried lavender.
  4. Allow to cool completely, then cover and chill.
  5. Whip the cream with the icing sugar, then pipe it over the jellies and serve.

The non-alcoholic version is exactly the same, I've just reduced the amount of sugar as the soft drink tends to be fairly sweet to begin with. Also to keep in mind, Vege-gel sets very quickly after it's been heated up, so everything must be ready as you'll have to work fast.

The whipping cream was my Mum's suggestion, I just whipped it and put on the table for people to add as much as they wanted, rather than fiddle with piping. The rose jelly on its own had quite an odd after taste and I think this is a combination of not using a sweet rose and the lavender. But with the raspberries it was quite different and with the whipped cream, even better.

For The Vegetarians...

Of course there are vegetarians in the family, so I was looking at alternatives to the beef in the Beef Wellington. Unfortunately I didn't find anything that appealed, so decided to try out one of the very impressive pies from the Danish Bake Off from 2013(in Danish), a carrot and courgette pie.

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As I have vast amounts of left-over doughs of all kinds in the freezer, and the recipe called for a dairy product that seemed to be an Icelandic staple (and I couldn't quite find a good translation for what it was), I opted to defrost some of the shortcrust pastry and use that instead. What I was very pleased with was that I got to use my mandolin a lot and I managed to slice everything without any injuries!

Ingredients

shortcrust pastry for a 30 cm pie dish
1 egg 6 - 7 carrots
3 - 4 dark green courgettes
5 eggs
5 tbsp milk
salt, pepper and thyme

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 °C. Separate the egg white and yolk.
  2. Roll out the pastry to about 3 mm thickness, then transfer to a pie dish, making sure that it's well fitted into it and goes a little over the edges.
  3. Cover the edges with strips of aluminium foil, prick the bottom surface to prevent it from bubbling up, then bake until it goes golden brown and begins to look dry.
  4. Take out of the oven, remove the edge protection strips and brush the whole inside with egg white, making sure nothing is missed out. Then return to the oven for a couple of more minutes before taking out and allowing to cool completely. This will protect the crust from going soggy from the vegetables.
  5. Peel and wash the carrots. Then trim the edges off the courgettes and scrub and wash clean, but do not peel.
  6. Using the thin slice setting on a mandolin and being very careful, slice carrots and courgettes along their length. Start with the courgettes, to get the hang of it as they are softer and easier to cut.
  7. Starting from the outer edge, line alternating courgettes and carrots, with the slices standing up on their edge.
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  8. Continue until the whole pie shell has been filled, making sure to fit in as much as possible.
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  9. Lightly whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, pepper and thyme. If you feel the liquid is too little, add more milk and adjust the seasoning, then drizzle over the pie to make sure it gets everywhere between the carrots and courgettes.
  10. Bake for 45 minutes and serve.

Next time I'll make more of the liquid, though it was quite nice as it was. I also think aubergines could add some extra colour or perhaps using light green and yellow skinned courgettes.

As for the amounts of carrots and courgettes, I wasn't really sure how much I'd need, so I sliced quite a few more than was necessary. A couple of days later, I cut them in chunks and made ratatouille, as I had some peppers that needed using up as well.

I also recommend showing the pie to the guests before cutting it, for the full effect, though even the cut pieces do look rather nice.

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My niece Lou actually asked to have some of this pie instead of the Beef Wellington and I'm quite pleased that she liked it. For the pie, I made the lovely cold white sauce and I also served with Dauphinoise potatoes. What I liked about it was that the vegetables had retained some of their crunch, though they were cooked. The original recipe also had bacon in it, but obviously I skipped it here.

Mini Oeufs en Cocotte Starters

To start off the festive Easter meal, I decided on oeufs en cocotte after finding these nice looking and inspiring recipes, here and here.

However, rather than make brioches, I decided on petits choux and with salmon and quails' eggs. And this was quite straight forward, using this version of choux pastry, but completely omitting the sugar. I had some lovely hot smoked salmon covered in herbs and I made the creme fraiche sauce.

But as so often happens, things don't quite work out as I imagine them. In this case, I piped the choux buns double the size I normally would do and this resulted in that there were no large cavities inside them, even though they puffed up lovely. So I had to carve out the middles.

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I then put a little salmon and carefully cracked the quails' eggs into the choux buns, leaving no space for the sauce at all. But luckily, the sauce doesn't need to be cooked.

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So in under the grill they went for about 15 minutes until the quail eggs had cooked and the salmon had warmed up. Then each little choux bun was placed on a nest of rocket leaves. I then served the sauce on the side for everyone to drizzle.

Only one of the crowd doesn't eat salmon, so instead I placed a piece of roast pepper.

The very tricky thing was to crack the quail eggs - they are so tiny and have such thin shells, I used a small knife to carefully crack a lid off at the top, just enough for the white and yolk to get through. I think a couple of pieces of the shell went along too, but I don't think anyone noticed, even being careful resulted in the shell just shattering.

Family gathering for Easter

Now that we have a fancy dining room with a table that can stretch to fit in the whole family, Lundulph and I invited the whole crowd over for Easter.

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My original plan was to make a nice big gyuvetch, however a quick look in the blog showed that I did this last year already, so I had to change my plans.

Instead, I decided on Beef Wellington. I've done this before, but with pork. And I thought I'd do some searching on the internet for more advice, since my previous attempt wasn't that good. Unfortunately I once more opted not to bother with the thin crepes required to wrap the meat in before wrapping with puff pastry, which meant I couldn't prepare everything in advance. I regret skimping on this. But I did skip the creme fraiche in the mushroom/onion mixture and tried to get it as dry as possible. This mixture is referred to as duxelle by the way. This one was made with two onions, some 900 g button mushrooms and about 2 dl parboiled yellowfoot mushrooms from my frozen stock. All finely chopped and fried together with salt, pepper and thyme, until most of the liquid had boiled off and I also squeezed out as much of the remaining liquid as I could and saving the liquid for later.

The meat itself was a large piece of beef tenderloin, which came to over 2 kg and seemed to cost a fortune, however when divided up between the crowd, it's not bad at all and well worth the expense. Lundulph declared that in future this is the only type of meat he'd like to eat. Because the piece of meat was quite large and thick, I cut it in two, so that it would fit in the oven, then browned each with a little butter and then pre-roasted both pieces at 220 ° for 15 minutes. I then let the pieces cool completely, covered in cling film and then put in plastic bag and put in the fridge. I also saved the liquid that had been released for the Madeira sauce.

Because I saved the duxelle and roasting liquids, I was able to make the Madeira sauce in advance, it's slightly different to the one I've done before:

Madeira sauce ingredients

30 g butter
2 onions, peeled and diced
1 litre Madeira wine
liquid from the mushroom duxelle and roasting juices - about 3.5 dl
1 dl water at room temperature
3 tbsp corn flour
6 tbsp whey butter
salt, pepper and thyme

Method

  1. Heat up the butter in a frying pan and fry the onions until they go soft and translucent.
  2. Pour in the Madeira wine and simmer until it's reduced by almost half.
  3. Add the liquid from the mushrooms and roasting juices and simmer for a few more minutes
  4. Dissolve the corn flour in the water, then stir into the sauce to thicken it.
  5. Add the whey butter, salt, pepper and thyme and stir through to make sure everything is well combined.
  6. Serve if ready, or let cool down and keep in the fridge until needed, then re-heat.

Wrapping the beef Wellington was once more quite tricky. I used two packets of puff pastry, but I hadn't thought through how to wrap, so ended up with a lot of folds and it didn't look very pretty. I cut of where I could, while making sure the meat and duxelle were well sealed in. I used a whisked egg to seal and also to brush on top for colour. I then chilled for an hour before baking.

For the final bake, I placed the two Beef Wellingtons on a roasting rack, quite thoughtlessly with a vague idea to prevent soggy bottoms. Of course the pieces sank through the grid, what a silly thing to do! And I also followed the recommendation of only baking for 20 minutes at 200 °C, which was not enough and I had to let things bake for a further 30 minutes until the puff pastry looked like it should. I was worried that this would mean the meat wouldn't be pink in the middle, however this wasn't the case - it turned out rather nice. And my poor guests had to sit with a massive long wait between starter and main course.

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But it was not possible to move the Beef Wellingtons off the roasting grid and it was really hard to cut them up.

To go with the meat, I made dauphinoise potatoes, which went down a treat. This time I didn't fill the tray to the brim and so it didn't spill over. I did bake them on the day before and re-heated before serving.

There was plenty to go round and quite a bit for me and Lundulph to eat in the week after, I think Lundulph's had enough of fancy fillet for a while now.

21 March 2015

Home-made Ice Cream Sandwich

Recently I popped into my local Lakeland shop and spotted an intriguing tray in a corner - it had 6 indentations with square pattern for making ice cream sandwiches.

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Now I really don't have space for another uni-tasker like this, so walked away from it, once that I'd noted the brand. Back home, I searched for the recipe for these, but it seems these weren't available unless you go and buy the baking tray. But a lot of other interesting recipes came up and I liked the look of this one, which has very good step-by-step instructions with photos.

Ingredients
113 g unsalted butter
100 g granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
65 g plain flour
25 g unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ tsp salt
1 litre ice cream of your choice

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170 °C fan. Line a large cookie sheet with baking parchment.
  2. Gently melt the butter and remove from the heat before it boils.
  3. Transfer to a large bowl, add the sugar and whisk together.
  4. Add the egg and vanilla extract and incorporate well.
  5. Add the flour, cocoa and salt and mix in well too.
  6. Scoop the mixture onto the baking sheet and then using a knife or better an offset spatula spread out to about 3 mm thickness.
  7. Bake for 5 minutes, then turn the baking sheet around and bake for a further 5 minutes so it bakes evenly. It's ready when it looks dry on the surface.
  8. Remove from the oven and carefully transfer to a wire rack.
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  9. Once the cake has cooled, take the ice cream out of the freezer and if it's hard, let soften a little.
  10. Carefully cut the cake in two equal parts and transfer one of them onto a large piece of cling film.
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  11. Take the ice cream out of its box and cut about 1.5 cm thick slices. Place the ice cream slices on top of the cake which is on the cling film. Make sure to cover the cake up to the edges and leave no gaps between the ice cream slices.
  12. Place the other cake on top of the ice cream and push down gently, then wrap the cling film tightly around the whole thing and place in the freezer overnight
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  13. When ready to eat, cut into pieces and serve.

I baked and assembled the ice cream sandwich last night and served to Lundulph after lunch today as a surprise. He quite liked it and so did I. I used rum & raising ice cream and it was very soft to begin with, so I didn't really need to leave it out, but just had to quickly wiggle it out of the box. The assembling requires preparation and you need to work fast, so that the ice cream doesn't melt too much.

Sadly, despite my smoothing efforts, the cake was a bit thick in the middle. Also it was quite crumbly and even though I was careful, it broke in a few places. I think I could take advantage of the humid air in the UK and leave the cake out for a bit - that might make it a bit soggy. I could definitely work on making the sandwiches more attractive. Rum & raisin was a pretty good choice and was really nice with the chocolate cake.

Possibly try out a few other recipes as well.

15 March 2015

Another Cookie Press Fun Evening

Not only was it fun to use my new cookie press, I'm quite pleased that my Mum's also re-discovered how much fun it is too. But she opted for savoury versions with different types of cheese. In fact, for her birthday she made so many, I wouldn't be surprised they'll eat them for weeks to come. To begin with, my Dad had been very suspicious about them, but then ended up eating 6 in one go and my Mum had to hide the box.

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However, in my searches to find a recipe for my Mum, I came across this one which seemed to be a bit less unhealthy than many others and I decided to make a batch and take to work as thank you to some of my colleagues.

Ingredients

Makes about 80

115 g unsalted butter at room temperature
1.2 dl + 3 tbsp icing sugar
0.6 dl + 3 tbsp corn flour
½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp lime zest
a pinch of salt
2 tbsp coconut milk drink
2.4 dl + 3 tbsp wholemeal flour
colourful sugar sprinkles

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170 °C fan and place 3 cookie trays in the freezer to chill.
  2. In a large bowl, add the butter, icing sugar and corn flour and whisk together. The mixture should be crumbly.
  3. Next add the vanilla, lime zest and salt and whisk until well combined.
  4. Add the coconut milk drink, followed by the wholemeal flour a little at a time.
  5. Fill up the cookie press and stamp away onto one of the chilled trays, straight onto it, without lining or greasing.
  6. Sprinkle colourful sugar sprinkles and bake for 10 minutes until the cookies just begin to get some colour.
  7. Repeat until all the dough has been used up. You might need to place the cookie trays back in the freezer and use again.
  8. Once the cookies are out of the oven, transfer to a cooling rack.
  9. Store in an air-tight box.

Now, I had to convert the amounts from American to metric and I thought I'd weigh everything while I was at it, but I kept forgetting to include the additional tablespoons when weighing, so will have to weigh again next time. This of course meant I had to add things as I realised I'd forgotten them, so frankly the above instructions can probably be boiled down to "mix everything together, add the wholemeal flour at the end".

The dough was sweeter than the previous recipe I used, but adding the sugar sprinkles made them just right and they were well popular at work - people had seconds and thirds. There were still a few to take home and Lundulph was massively pleased.
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And I have ideas for next time - swap the butter for coconut oil to make completely vegan and also swap some of the wholemeal flour with ground nuts. And perhaps skip the sprinkles and dip in chocolate.

8 March 2015

Peruvian Roast Chicken

After making the Classic British Roast Chicken last month, I got wondering how other countries make roast chicken and a quick search came up with what claims to be a Peruvian recipe, which seemed quite intriguing, so I put it on my to-cook list. And since we were both hit by the nasty cold that's been doing its rounds this week, I thought a nice roast chicken dinner would perk us up nicely before the start of the new week.

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And it was indeed delicious.

Ingredients

1.3 kg chicken, no need for the giblets
1 lemon cut in quarters
5 cloves of garlic
½ tsp salt
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
60 ml + 2 tbsp white wine
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp paprika
1½ tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp dried oregano

Method

  1. Cut off any excess fat around the chicken cavity, then rinse the chicken and pat it dry.
  2. Starting from the cavity, carefully push your fingers under the skin and loosen it as much as possible, also on the thights, but be careful not to tear it.
  3. Peel and mince the garlic with the salt, then using a little of this paste at a time, rub in under the skin of the chicken, making sure to distribute as evenly as possible.
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  4. Using two of the lemon quarters, rub over the skin of the chicken.
  5. In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, the 2 tbsp of white wine, the olive oil, paprika, cumin, black pepper and oregano, then brush the chicken all over.
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  6. Place the chicken in a plastic bag, pour in any left-over marinade, then seal the bag and turn a few times to distribute the marinade as much as possible.
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  7. Let the chicken marinade for 5 - 8 hours.
  8. Pre-heat the oven to 220 °C (non-fan assisted).
  9. Transfer the chicken to an oven safe dish and push the four pieces of lemon into the cavity, then tie the legs together and place in the oven to roast for 15 minutes.
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  10. Transfer the left-over marinade to a bowl.
  11. After the first 15 minutes are up, turn down the oven to 190 °C and brush some marinade onto the chicken.
  12. Continue roasting for a further 20 minutes, then baste again and repeat two more times. Check that the juices run clear, then the chicken is ready.
  13. Remove from the oven and pour out the juices from the roasting dish into a frying pan along with any left-over marinade and the 60 ml wine. Scrape off any bits from the roasting dish and add to the gravy as well and simmer for 3 minutes.
  14. Carve the bird and serve.

Lundulph and I have developed a taste for quinoa lately, so as both this recipe and quinoa come from South America, I thought that would work nicely together. I also added some cherry tomatoes and shredded Chinese cabbage (OK, so this kind of breaks the South American theme, but it's so nice). All in all, this was a lovely meal for the two of us - we put away half the chicken in one go.

Like the previous chicken, this one had cooked so nicely, it was coming off the bone, so I cleaned the left chicken half and it was ready for the next meal. As it happened, there were other things to eat as well, so Lundulph happily ate that on his own the next day.

14 February 2015

Mochi Ice Cream

After my Sister Bip and I tried the mochi ice creams, she's been wanting to try and make some at home. We did try over the Christmas holidays, but hadn't prepared properly and used rice flour we found in our Mum's cupboard. This was not a good idea, it wasn't the glutinous kind and so the gloopy mixture we concocted went straight to the bin. And Bip was well disappointed and upset. But she wrapped all the ice cream balls in a bag, ready to be wrapped in mochi dough.

However, this time she'd prepared and bought the fancy glutinous rice flour and we found our way back to the recipe we'd chosen. This is a very good web page, it has step-by-step photos and is very easy to follow.

The two things we did was to do our own measurement conversions to be on the safe side and also ignored the instructions for cooking the dough in the microwave - short bursts and keep an eye on it is the way to go.

The mochi dough is a very interesting thing. Lundulph looked up about the word glutinous in this context - it doesn't have gluten like wheat flour, but instead it refers to its stickiness like glue. Here's where the photos step-by-step proved really useful, because if I hadn't seen how much corn starch to use, I would have glued together half the stuff in the kitchen to myself.

What I mostly liked about the mochi was how it felt to the touch - like really soft and feather-light velvet. I was also surprised that even though I'd covered the mochi dough with so much corn starch, it quite happily combined back to a ball and allowed itself to be rolled out a second and a third time. But it's messy work and Bip didn't want to get too involved and wandered off to play with her phone towards the end of the mochi rolling.

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There was a lot of cling film involved and I felt bad about it and I wonder if there is an alternative that can be used instead.

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Once all the pieces were done, she helped in making the mochi ice creams by handing me the ice cream balls one at a time, while I rolled them up and gave back to her to place in the freezer.

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We couldn't wait to try them and did so a couple of hours later after lunch. This was a bad idea - despite working as fast as we could, the room temperature mochi dough had melted the ice cream balls substantially.

The next day we tried again and this time the mochi ice creams had firmed up nicely. What I didn't like was that the mochi dough felt rather bland - I'll try to add more sugar next time. And I think a sweeter ice cream would be worth using as well. Or perhaps nutella or dulce de leche or gianduja. It would be nice to trim off some of the overlap of the mochi dough as well, will need to think about that.

Lundulph kindly acted photographer as I was up to my elbows in cornstarch and although my camera has had its share of food splatter, I felt this would kill it for sure.

13 February 2015

Épis

This year my Mum is turning 70 and so we went to Sweden to celebrate.

Of course my Mum did most of the food, but she put me in charge of breads and as she was going to do a buffet table, we thought the Festive Christmas Bread would make a nice centre piece.

But Mum had invited quite a few friends, so more bread was required and I decided to try my hand at épis, which is French for ear as in the ear of grains like wheat. They are very decorative and quite easy to do and my Mum would be pleased as she likes crunchy crust on bread. Plus I quite fancied the idea of being able to tear, rather than slice the breads.

The tricky bit was the festive bread of course, but I managed to work out a a schedule to slot in the different steps of the two breads and managed to get everything done on the day of the party.

For the épis, I used Mr Bertinet's trusty basic recipe for white bread, double amount. This resulted in 5 good sized baguettes, which is what épis are. But rather than slash them prior to baking, grab a clean pair of scissors and snip the dough along the length of the baguette, but not all the way through. And with each cut, move the cut piece alternatively to the right and left. That's it.

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I also now know that my Mum's oven bakes very unevenly, even though it's fan assisted. Hopefully I'll remember that for the next time. I managed to burn one of the épis and also a couple of the petals of the festive bread. Still they all went as Mum had made a selection of lovely dips.

Despite my intentions for the guests to tear pieces of bread, none of them dared to start on the festive bread and I got the honour of pulling away the first piece. At the end of the party, the festive bread looked like it had been attacked by a lawn mower.

1 February 2015

Classic Roast Chicken

The other day, Lundulph commented that he fancied roast chicken and we both racked our brains and couldn't remember when we last had made roast chicken. Most definitely in our early days of dating, but not since then. So he put in a request for roast chicken and I set about with my quick internet searches to find something suitable and I did - "Classic Roast Chicken" - and it seemed to be easy enough to do.

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But as always, I end up tinkering - this time because the recipe didn't mention potatoes and I thought something green would be nice as well. So here goes. Now I have a lot of goose fat left over from Christmas. I filtered it as best I could and keep it in the fridge. I suspect I'll have to throw away most of it as it's bound to go off soon enough, but it hadn't yet, so I decided to use that. I'm sure butter will work just as well.

Ingredients
serves 4

1 kg waxy potatoes
4 medium-sized carrots
1 large onion
4 - 5 tbsp goose fat
1.4 kg whole chicken
salt and pepper
1 lemon
several sprigs of thyme
800 g button mushrooms
400 ml chicken stock from cubes
1 tbsp plain flour 1 tbsp soft whey butter
broccoli

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190 °C.
  2. Peel and rinse the potatoes, carrots and onion, then cut into bite-sized chunks and place in a large deep-ish roasting tin. The tin should be large enough to fit the chicken and the vegetables without them being too crowded.
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  3. Use half of the fat and spread among the vegetables. Stir together to get them as well coated as possible. The goose fat should go runny in a warm kitchen.
  4. Remove any giblets from the chicken and discard or save for something else. Mix together salt and pepper and sprinkle inside the chicken cavity.
  5. Wash the lemon and thyme. Cut the lemon in two. Stuff one lemon half, some of the thyme, then the other half and finally some more thyme into the main cavity.
  6. Make some space in the middle of the roasting tin and place the chicken there on its back.Rub the remaining goose fat all over.
  7. If there's any more thyme remaining, sprinkle over the vegetables and put the odd sprig between the wings/legs and body of the chicken. Season with salt and pepper and bake for 40 minutes.
  8. Peel and clean the mushrooms, and add them to the roasting tin after the 40 minutes are up. Stir to get them coated with some of the fat, then bake everything for a further 50 minutes.
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  9. Just before the time is up, make up the chicken stock and place in a frying pan and bring to a simmer. Put the broccoli to steam as well.
  10. Remove from the oven and carefully pour out the juices from the roasting tin into the frying pan, the cover the chicken and vegetables with aluminium foil and let rest for 10 - 15 minutes, while you make the gravy
  11. Keep the gravy simmering in the pan and stir in the flour, followed by the whey butter. Keep simmering until it thickens a little and goes opaque.
  12. Carve the chicken and serve with the roasted vegetables, steamed broccoli and gravy.

Well, a quick search on the blog just now reveals that my original thought of not having had roast chicken for ages is not true. Methinks that we're getting old and forgetful. Lundulph did make roast chicken a a few years back. OK, so it's still "ages" but not as much as pre-dating the blog.