We were talking ‘death row’ meals at my parents’ house the other day (a bit of a morbid discussion but we’re one of those families – especially my Mum and I – who are usually found either eating food or talking about food). I am a die hard pizza enthusiast, Tom loves his burgers, my Dad is also a huge burger fan and my Mum was unwavering about her love for the great British roast dinner. Now, I must admit straight away that I’m usually pretty on the fence about a roast dinner. I’ll order it on a Sunday in a country pub if I need some comfort food, but we don’t often cook one up on a Sunday. Apparently I’m not the only one either – as apparently less than a third of Brits have a roast dinner on a Sunday; with more opting for a takeaway or another international dish.
Oven Pride recently challenged me to try out a roast dinner recipe from a top cookbook and report back as to how it went, and I was keen to give cooking a roast dinner a try, and see if it could become a staple part of our Sunday traditions. A little surprise package arrived for me a few weeks ago, and inside was a copy of Slow Cooking by James Martin. (Just as an aside, this cookbook is amazing, with recipes like chicory and ham gratin, baked potatoes with pancetta and Taleggio, and meringue, lemon curd and passion fruit torte. I dribbled my way through the contents pages and did lots of bookmarking!) The ethos of the book is ‘family favourites’ to ‘take your time over’ – and what could be a better way to cook a Sunday roast than preparing and tending to something slowly, filling the whole house with the delicious smells of a gently roasting chicken? (Oh and FYI the book is £5 on Amazon at the moment and would make the perfect stocking filler!)
You can find the recipe here on Google Books. I won’t reproduce it here as I don’t want to get busted by the Copyright Police but I’d definitely encourage you to give it a try – and I think you might want to after you read my review below!
Oven Pride recently discovered that one in four Brits have never cooked a Christmas dinner, so they asked me to review this recipe and share it here to encourage others to give cooking the ultimate roast dinner a try! Here is my review….
“The recipe we used for our roast dinner involved soaking the chicken in brine for two hours prior to cooking; so the first step was to make the brine, which we did on the Saturday evening. The brine contained salt flakes, garlic, lemon and bay leaves. The brine needed to be cool before adding the chicken, so we made it the night before to avoid having to heat up our fridge! The chicken was then placed in the fridge, in the brine, for two hours on the Sunday morning, which was the perfect window for chopping and preparing the rest of the accompaniments to our roast dinner.
The chicken was taken out of the brine, rinsed off, and then was cooked on a bed of chopped onion and carrot and drizzled with rapeseed oil. The chicken was cooked for about an hour and a half.
The recipe itself was incredibly easy. It took some preparation and isn’t a recipe you could decide to make at Sunday lunchtime (due to the brine having to be prepared and cooled) – but was well worth the extra preparation. We cooked the chicken at the same time as our roast potatoes, parsnips, cabbage, broccoli and carrot and swede mash, so it was all ready at the same time with minimal fuss.
The chicken itself was absolutely delicious – so tender and tasty and undoubtedly the best roast chicken I’ve ever had. I sometimes find roast chicken a little dry, but this was so moist and flavoursome. There was very little mess in the kitchen and the oven, and bar preparing the brine a few hours before cooking the chicken (or the night before, as we did), it didn’t take much effort to prepare or cook. I would absolutely make this recipe again – the ‘melt in your mouth’ chicken was absolutely amazing and I can’t wait to share the recipe with others next time we have friends and family over for a roast dinner.”
Do you regularly cook roast dinners? Will you be cooking a roast this Christmas? (It goes without saying that we used Oven Pride to clean up our oven after putting it through its paces with this recipe!)