Dinners like this are life-changing!! I know you shouldn’t say stuff like that about your own food, but I don’t care. I love the fact that writing this blog has forced me to think about what meals are difficult for families (i.e. hard work) and try to address those meals to make them easier. One of the most ritualistic of meals to be had as a family is the Sunday roast dinner. But, GAH, they are such a faff! So many pans, so much last minute sweating as the kids are screaming and you are trying to get all the last components together.
This little beauty of a meal uses just one pan (apart from the jug or small pan that you’ll use to re-heat the sauce in), and is such a doddle, with a sauce that makes itself – and it is actually better than a traditional roast. My lot loved it – Adam even said it was ‘elegant’ – get me!
The time looks like a lot, but I was watching a film with kids in front of a blazing fire for the majority of that time, just popping in the kitchen to baste, toss etc. It really is very easy.
Try it this weekend – with Spring just around the corner it feels right, lighter than a roast but just as nourishing. Don’t worry about the mustard being hot for kids – it’s not as it mellows lots during cooking.
Serves: family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children)
Prep time: 2 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 32 minutes
1.4kg chicken (ideally free-range)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
Salt and pepper
Small glass of white wine
800g new potatoes
170g green beans
Few sprigs of thyme (dried is OK if not got fresh – about a teaspoon)
1 more tablespoon butter / same of oil
2 tablespoons creme fraiche (full-fat as it’s so much better tasting)
- Always take out your chicken a couple of hours before cooking. Preheat oven to 180C.
- Smother the bird with butter then oil, season very generously. Paint on mustard and trickle a little honey – not too much as it can burn.
- Roast in a large roasting dish (it has to be large as all the vegetables will go in here – a lasagne one is perfect) for about 45-mins to an hour. Half way through cooking time, baste and cover loosely with foil if the skin is burning at all – and now tip in the glass of wine.
- Remove chicken when it’s cooked and put aside to rest (when it comes to chicken, a good long rest is perfect – cover with foil and a clean tea towel to keep warm). Pour off the juices (there should be about a mugful) into a jug or pan – set aside.
- Pop a little butter and oil into the roasting pan and tip the potatoes in along with more seasoning and the thyme. Toss and roast for 45 minutes. After about 30 minutes, add the green beans and toss again.
- When the veg is almost ready, carve the chicken roughly – adding the juices to the sauce. Add the creme fraiche to the sauce also and warm it through. That’s it – sauce done.
- Serve it all in the roasting dish which will help keep it warm, with the sauce on the side.