I cannot believe Christmas is just around the corner. The year is almost over and it has gone by so quickly.
There are so many things that happened this year. A lot of my friends and family welcomed little ones in their home and hearts. I met some incredible people who have become friends. I dealt with extremely painful health issues. I learned baking and have fallen in love with baking bread. I developed a taste for good Coffee without Sugar. I unsuccessfully tried to learn swimming. D and I completed 7 years of marriage and my blog has grown from 1 post to 80 by the end of the year.
So much has happened and I realize I have not done anything for my blog to end the year with.
A few weeks ago a friend in an online cooking forum had posted pictures of this beautiful looking Chicken she had roasted for thanksgiving. Although I make roast chicken a lot, what she had done looked simply beautiful.
I asked her on tips on how to roast the perfect chicken and she happily parted the knowledge. I made the chicken a few times after that and was very happy with the results. So as I sit down to write this not so Christmassy post I thought what could be better than making a gorgeous roast chicken with vegetables and gravy.
Now I love gravy but not the store brought one, I am talking of the real one here. But it is so hot in Perth and I do not have energy to make the real deal. Hence I decided to give my gravy a little twist and made a very light Lemon and Honey sauce (Don’t groan in disgust, the sauce is good even though there can be no substitute for gravy).
This roast might not be too festive and fancy. It doesn’t have any stuffing or gravy but it is beautiful, it is light and very easy. Every time I make it I kiss my own fingers and thank “P” for giving me her tips.
“D” tells me that eating this Roast makes his Christmas happy.
Recipe (Serves 4, cooking time 1 hour but the preparation time only 20 minutes)
For the Chicken
1 Large whole Chicken with Skin
7 – 8 Garlic Cloves
2 Big Lemons
Salt and Pepper to taste (I used 2 tsp of each)
Handful of herbs (I used Rosemary, Oregano goes well too)
2 tbsp Olive Oil
Clean and wash the Chicken well. Pat dry before you lay it on a Baking Tray covered with Aluminum foil. In a small bowl add the Salt, Pepper, Juice of 1 Lemon, Herbs and Olive Oil. Massage the Chicken gently with this to ensure it is well coated. Make sure you apply the mixture near the cavity as well. Now cut 1 Lemon into small chunks and stuff it in the cavity along with the Garlic cloves.
Roast the Chicken in the middle of a pre heated oven at 180 degrees for an hour or till a skewer comes out clean when you insert it. The Lemons and Garlic inside will stew and release the juices and the Olive oil mixture will give it a gorgeous crispy coating.
Once your Chicken is done remove it from the oven and cover it with a foil and let it rest for 10 minutes before you carve it. I know the picture above does not represent a well carved Chicken. But trust me when I say this my carving skills had no impact on the taste.
For the Lemon & honey sauce
1 1/2 cup Water
1/4 cup Honey
1/4 cup Lemon juice (I usually end up adding a little more as the sauce can taste a bit sweet)
1 Tbsp Chicken Stock powder or 2 cubes of Chicken stock
2 Tsp Brown Sugar
2 tsp Cornflour
To make this super easy light sauce all you need to do is throw all the ingredients in a pan, just mix them once and let them boil for around 10 minutes on a low flame. Don’t worry about the cornflour not mixing etc as we will strain the sauce once it is done.
After 10 minutes when the sauce has thickened. Strain it and keep it away till your Chicken is roasting. This is such a perfect accompaniment with the roast. I usually taste the sauce once it is done and sometimes add extra Lemon juice if I find it is very sweet.
For the Summer Vegetables (use your own judgement depending on the number of people. I was making it for 2 and we love our Potatoes and Veggies)
4 big Royal Blue Potatoes cut into chunks (you can use the normal ones but I find that Royal Blue roast really well)
1 Medium sized Zucchini/Courgette cut into pieces
1 big Onion cut into chunks
Handful of baby Carrots. You can use the normal big ones and chop them into pieces
3 – 4 Garlic Cloves
1 Parsnip chopped into pieces
Salt & Pepper to taste
Olive Oil to drizzle on top
1 Lemon cut into pieces
Handful of dried herbs
The key to getting the perfect roasted vegetables is to make sure all the vegetables are cut into similar sized pieces. Because I am using Baby Carrots I have not chopped them as used them as is. Boil the Potatoes in Salted water for 10 minutes till they are almost cooked. Drain them in a colander and shake them around a bit so they are a little bruised.
Wash all the other vegetables and lay them together on a baking tray covered with baking paper or a foil. Sprinkle the Olive oil, salt and Pepper and mix them well so the vegetables are coated with the seasoning. Stick the vegetable tray in the oven after the Chicken has been cooking for 30 minutes. This will ensure your Chicken and Vegetables cook together and you will have time to spare to lay your table, have a glass of wine or just lay back. You can also be innovative and add any other vegetables that roast well.
This is how your gorgeous vegetables will look when they are done. I have mentioned that you should roast both the Chicken and the Vegetables at 180 degrees but every oven varies so if you feel the Chicken and vegetables are not done, let them cook in the oven for sometime. What I also do is I pick up the tray in which I roasted the Chicken and pour all the gorgeous juices from the tray on top of my vegetables. No wasting the lovely juices 🙂
Now isn’t that a lovely roast. I also love to use the leftovers as stuffing for sandwiches the next day. It tastes even better. Hope you all have a happy holiday while I wipe my plate clean.