I am so pleased to finally cooked this absolutely delicious ten-hour roast chicken from Gwyneth Paltrow's cookbook. I read loads of great reviews about it on-line and after my first bite, now I know why. After testing Heston's method for roasting chicken not a long time ago, I don't think I'll ever roast chicken the same way again. Low and slow are definitely the way forward (and brining if I can remember).
There's hardly any prep here... just simple basic ingredients: great quality chicken, lemon, thyme, garlic, coarse salt and black pepper. That's it! You start by rubbing the washed and dried chicken with lemon juice. Then generously sprinkle the chicken with salt and freshly ground black pepper all over, not forgetting the cavity. Tuck half a lemon, a small bunch of fresh thyme and several peeled garlic cloves in the cavity. Place the chicken in a roasting tin, breast side down. Wrap the tin tightly with foil and put it in a preheated 110 C oven for 9.5 hours. Do nothing to it, just get on with your day.
When the chicken had its time, take it out of the oven and boost the heat to 200 C. Unwrap the foil and don't be surprised even after 9.5 hours of cooking, the chicken will still look a bit pale. Place the chicken breast side up now. Sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper. Put it back in the oven and let it roast for 15 - 20 minutes or until it's nicely browned.
Let the chicken rest to let all the juices come back to the centre, then carve (or shred in my case) and enjoy with its lovely cooking juices, no need for gravy.
The chicken is so deliciously tender and it just melts in your mouth. "Oh, so good" is an understatement...
I served the chicken with colcannon, that is Irish mashed potatoes which was definitely appropriate for St. Patrick's Day. I start by making a simple mash with potatoes, milk, garlic butter, nutmeg, salt and pepper; and to that I added sautéed savoy cabbage and bacon with Worcestershire sauce and chopped parsley. Sublime.
The leftover mashed potatoes are then turned into potato patties for last night's tea. The patties are covered in white breadcrumbs, grated parmesan, black pepper and paprika before frying until crunchy and golden brown. To be honest, I could simply eat the patties with some brown sauce, but because it's the weekend and I wanted something special, so I made my quick version of the delicious Mexican breakfast, huevos rancheros.
I start by cutting a link of spicy chorizo sausage into quarters and fry them in an oil-less iron cast pan over medium heat. Let the chorizo renders its fat and then add some chopped onion and one red chilli, seeds and all. Let the onion soften and then add a can of chopped tomatoes. Fill half of the can with water, swirl it around and add it to the pan. You don't have to do this, but I always add just about a teaspoon of sugar to balance the acidity from canned tomatoes. Next, slice some cherry tomatoes into halves, but leave some whole too and add them to the pan. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Let the sauce comes to a boil and then cover and simmer for 15 minutes or so. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking. Then crack some eggs directly into the sauce and sprinkle the eggs with salt and pepper. Put the lid back on and cook the eggs for a couple of minutes or so, I like my yolks still runny.
Sprinkle with some chopped parsley or coriander, whichever one you have and wedges of lemon. Breakfast for dinner... my favourite.