I’ve been craving really simple, winter warming food. It’s cold and there is something so comforting about all those lovely flavours coming together, especially with winter vegetables, made just the way we have it when we visit home. I have hundreds of cookery books but somehow, I love the way my mum and sister, Elizabeth make roast chicken.
We like to break with tradition every now and again and have a very simple Parmesan Risotto with our chicken, instead of roast potatoes. I usually just make a plain risotto with stock, adding butter and Parmesan at the end and a drizzle of the marjoram chicken juices. The secret as far as I can tell is to wrap the chicken in foil, or you could use a pot with a tightly fitting lid as long as it holds your chicken. Then my mum adds water to almost steam roast it, taking off the foil or lid thirty minutes before the end for the chicken to brown. Adding the marjoram, carrots, leeks and parsnips to the pot too also adds flavour. Marjoram is a lovely herb, very underrated and quite often used in Polish cooking. The second trick is to cook your chicken on a slightly lower heat, but for longer. My mum leaves her chicken in for a good two hours, even it is a fairly small sized bird.
- 1 Large or Medium Free Range Chicken
- 3 Carrots
- 2 Parsnips
- 2 Leeks
- Drizzle of Olive Oil
- Sea Salt and Pepper
- 2 tablespoon Dried Marjoram
- 250 ml Water
- Take your chicken out of the fridge around twenty minutes before you start and pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees celsius. Find a nice big large pot with a lid, or pot or baking tray that you can cover tightly with foil. Peel your carrots and parsnips and chop in half lengthways. Wash your leeks well and also chop in half lengthways.
- Place the chicken in the pot or tray, throw in the veggies around the chicken. Sprinkle the chicken with a small drizzle of olive oil, about a tablespoon, season all over with sea salt and freshly ground pepper and sprinkle over plenty of marjoram, including some in the bottom of the pan too. Pour the water into the pot or tin, not all over the chicken, just into the pan. Cover tightly with foil.
- Place your chicken in the hot oven for twenty minutes and after twenty minutes turn the oven down to 180-170 degrees celsius. Keep the foil on. Continue to roast for one and a half hours. After that time, take the foil off and turn the oven back up to 200 degrees celsius. Keep the chicken in the oven for at least twenty-thirty minutes more, or until golden brown.
- There is no need to baste the chicken whilst it is cooking as the steam will keep it nice and moist. Once cooked (the juices should run clean, not pink) take the chicken out of the oven and leave it to rest for fifteen minutes, covered in foil. You can make gravy at this stage, but we just like to drizzle our plates with a small amount of the liquid already in the pan.
- Don't forget to use any leftovers and the chicken carcass to make a nice pan of stock or soup.
By next week I am hoping to add another linky up – similar to the one for Simple and in Season - so that hopefully some of you will also add you Family Friendly Recipes throughout the week.
I hope you enjoy the weekend!