Thursday, March 25, 2010

Pass it On:Week One

A couple of days ago I bought Jamie Oliver's new book Jamie's Food Revolution: Rediscover how to cook Simple, Delicious, Affordable Meals. Maybe I am just a sucker for his accent and charming smile because I don't think of myself as someone that needs to rediscover cooking and by comparison I know cooking at home is a lot cheaper than going out. I have oodles of books already about simple & delicious some of them being his, so why add another book to collection? Because of what he says. I saw his TED acceptance speech and was overwhelmed by his passion and sentiments. I know many of us in the food blogging community echo his beliefs and also want to do something about the state of food in our own communities. I joined his pledge, but who would I pass it on to? I decided to pass it on to this community, the one that has been inspiring me to cook better meals and be more active with my own family.  So each week I will cook one of his recipes from the Food Revolution book and pass it on to the each of you. I would appreciate that you take this recipe, make it yourselves and blog about it in your own words and then link it back to my site each week. The idea is to see how many people we can get to pass on each recipe to a larger global community.

Because I had a whole chicken in my fridge the first recipe was a no brainer.

Perfect Roast Chicken 

  • 1 chicken ( 3- 3 1/2 lbs) Jamie suggests that you use the best bird you can find ie, organic free range etc- A happy bird makes a better tasting meal.
  • 2 medium carrots roughly cut
  • 2 stalks celery roughly cut
  • 2 medium  onions
  • 1-2 garlic bulbs
  • salt & fresh ground pepper (what a day for me to run out of pepper corns, had to use the reserve)
  • 1 bunch of fresh herbs such as thyme or rosemary
  • 1 lemon

A Consistently Good Gravy
  • vegetable trivet
  • 1 heaping teaspoon of all purpose flour
  • 1 cup of wine, sherry or vermouth
  • 4 cups stock or water
  • salt & pepper
This recipe should be called "easy peasy roasted chook". The hardest part was making the gravy.

Take the bird out of the refrigerator, Jamie recommends that the chicken has half an hour to come to room temperature before it goes in the oven. I made the mistake of getting the chicken out of the fridge the same time as the rest of my vegetables... Preheat oven to 475F and get your vegetables.  Dust of any dirt and remove any excess skins from the onion and garlic but other than that no need to rinse or clean. Roughly chop all the vegetables and lightly crush the garlic. Put the the vegetables in the roasting pan or dutch oven, drizzle with olive oil, salt and toss. Jamie calls this the vegetable trivet.... (ah now it makes sense).

Rinse and pat dry the chicken (I found other chefs recommended this, so you can skip this step if you want). Prick the lemon all over and microwave (if you don't have a microwave skip) for 30 seconds to soften it up. Stuff the cavity with the lemon and the herbs. Drizzle the chicken with more olive oil, and massage with seasonings and place it on top of the vegetable trivet.

At this point it took longer for my oven to come to temperature and my bird to hangout for half an hour. So I waited and calculated that my chicken cost me $13.50 for nearly three and a half pounds, my vegetables cost a couple of dollars and I was going to feed the family for about $4 a head if all four of us ate it. Truth be told I am vegetarian that loves to cook all things! 

Put the roast in the oven and turn down to 400F- if you are making roasted vegetables prepare then now. I did but did not follow the recipe %100 so I am not including it here. 

Bake for an 1hr 20 minutes, basting occasionally. Then remove from oven, cover with tinfoil and prepare gravy.

For gravy, tilt pan with vegetable trivet and remove as much fat as you can (Jamie says %90 but really who can tell?). Put pan on a medium high heat on the stove and add flour making a slurry of vegetables. Then mash all the veg and slurry as much as you can. Add the wine, stir and remove bits from the bottom of the pan. Then add stock or water. Once all stirred and mashed together drain through a fine mesh colander. Return gravy to stove, bring to a boil and simmer to ideal consistency, about 10 mins. Taste for seasoning and adjust or if you are like me and you use veggie stock because you are ill prepared, add a knob of butter- fat carries flavour.

To serve, carve your roast remove the wings and reserve for another use or you can rip them off when resting your roast and break them up to use in the gravy. Remove the the legs and cut down the breast bone removing each breast and then pick away at the extra meat.

I started cooking at 4pm and wanted dinner on the table at 5:30 and I was nearly on that mark. I made roasted chicken, some baked veg, a marinated grilled bread salad (I needed something) and gravy in an hour forty-five minutes. This was/is a very successful meal and I am happy to pass it on.

ps... just incase you noticed I roasted this particular chook upside down... what can I say? But my husband did exclaim it was the moistest breast (meat) he has ever had...

photos by me.

Please leave a comment & a link to your site describing this recipe! Wednesday night before I post the next recipe I will blog a recap of those that participated, Cheers.


7 comments:

  1. Great idea Megan! I have a whole bird in the fridge right now - I was just looking for a recipe for it! Looks like I know what we're having for dinner :)

    I'll be sure to blog about it and link back to you when I do :) Thanks for doing the "Pass it on" - I really love this idea!!!!

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  2. @ Andrea, let me know how it goes!

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  3. His recipes are always so reliable and best thing is that he gets my husband inspired to cook too which is a good thing! :)

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  4. Hi Megan! It went very well. I didn't follow the recipe exactly (no real surprise there LOL) but it was very very good! I used leeks rather than onions (a diner has an onion allergy but leeks don't bother her). The smell of this bird roasting was amazing!! I want to make it again today for the aroma alone :) I'd give this a 9 for presentation (golden brown bird) and a 7.5 for flavor, it would have been better if I had fresh herbs. Over all this is a solid 8.5 dish! I'll be making it again for sure!. And the gravy was awesome!!!!!
    http://andrea-thekitchenwitch.blogspot.com/2010/03/pass-it-on-week-1-roasted-chicken.html

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  5. Thanks Andrea, I just added you link!

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  6. I, personally, am totally transcended by the way Jamie looks like he's doing "The Robot" when he talks and cooks. :D

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  7. @Lorraine, I agree, I have never had one fail but have needed to increase the spice quotient.

    @:D'anne, I have never though about, but yeah, he does doesn't he?

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