The humble roast chicken is usually a meal in itself, however in the current climate with limited supplies we can be more creative in the kitchen and broaden our culinary imagination. In the last week I have been able to create three meals from just the one whole chicken:
The Main Event - Roast chicken with new potatoes and tender stem broccoli.
Part II – The classic club sandwich
The Finishing Touch – Leek, mushroom and chicken stock risotto
These are suitable for all skill levels. However if you need a guiding hand to help create these three delicious dishes, we have provided links to tried and tested recipes from household names in the culinary world.
1. The Main Event – The Roast
There are few dishes that can unite a family round the dinner table more than the humble roast chicken. When cooked well, it should be tender and juicy with deliciously crisp skin. To achieve this, baste the chicken with butter and season with salt and pepper before cooking and pour a glass and half of white wine in the roasting tray before putting into the oven on gas mark 6 (230 C).
Depending on the size of the chicken, cooking time varies between 1hr 20mins for small chickens to 1hr 50mins for larger birds. Once the chicken is cooked leave it to rest out of the oven for 10 minutes covered lightly with tin foil to maintain its heat.
Allowing the chicken to rest will let the juices run for your gravy or sauce and ensure the meat is tender and easy to carve.
2. Part II – The Classic Club Sandwich
For me the club sandwich is synonymous with summer holidays. It’s the ultimate decadent snack to order at your favourite beach bar with a cold beer or iced tea. With summer holiday plans put on hold for the foreseeable future, the classic club can transport you to warmer climes and bring that beach bar atmosphere to your kitchen, albeit for just a lunch time.
For this timeless snack, strip the remaining meat from the roast chicken left from the night before and add boiled eggs, crispy bacon, tomato and gem lettuce and stack between slices of toasted sour dough bread.
3. The Finishing Touch – Leek & Mushroom Risotto made from Chicken Stock
At this point you might be wondering where our 3rd meal is coming from as all the meat from the chicken will have been used for the roast and the club sandwich. However for seasoned chefs and home cooks this is when the fun begins; making stock.For some, making stock will be slightly alien as many people will discard the chicken once all the meat has been used. Instead of resigning it to the rubbish bin, take the carcass and place it in a large pot with roughly chopped onions leeks, carrots and herbs (if available), cover with cold water.
Then bring to the mixture to the boil on your hob. Once the water’s boiling, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for an hour. Season it with salt and pepper at the end. For a richer stock you can reduce it further.
After an hour remove from the pan from the heat and leave it to cool. Once it has cooled pass the stock through a fine sieve or colander and keep in the fridge until you’re ready to make your risotto.
When it comes to make a deliciously rich risotto the two most important skills you need are patience and care. The process for making a risotto will be the same for all recipes you read however some might not stress the importance of stirring the risotto rice regularly (every 10 seconds if possible) and adding a ladle of hot chicken stock every 3-4 minutes.