|roast chicken with rosemary and smoked paprika|
For the past few years, I have tried to be relatively frugal. So while I may want to splash out on a vast rib of beef, or a plump leg of lamb to roast, I'm afraid that my frugal hands are tied behind my thrifty back and I have to settle for a chicken, since it is a lot cheaper and one bird can go an awfully long way.
When I say "settle", that makes it sound as if I am feeling a little half-hearted about having chicken for Sunday's lunch. It shouldn't do, since what I had planned to do with my bird turned out really well; it sparkled with intense savoury spice flavours and brightened up an otherwise grey afternoon. (Although frankly, anything that involves cooking and eating tends to brighten up my day!)
I roasted my chicken with smoked paprika and rosemary, and served it with black pudding (a traditional British sausage) and cannellini beans. I had intended to use morcilla, a wonderfully rich Spanish blood sausage, but my local deli had run out. They had traditional Lancashire black pudding though, which worked just as well.
Last summer, I had roasted chicken pieces in a marinade of rosemary and smoked paprika. It was heavenly. In December, I decided to roast the whole bird but use the marinade both inside and out.
|Black pudding and cannellini bean stew|
So this time, I decided to use the black pudding as a highly flavoured accompaniment, by cooking it with cannellini beans, wine and paprika and some of the chicken cooking juices.
It has been one of my favourite ways of roasting a chicken this year and the glorious black pudding and bean stew was eaten the next day slopped over a bowl of butter mashed potato. Heaven!
It goes without saying that you should buy the best chicken that you can afford, for better flavour. (The carcass makes an excellent stock for soups, stews and gravy).
Skill level: Easy
1 x 2kg chicken
1 tbsp olive oil
2-3 x garlic cloves, very finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1-2 tsp smoked paprika
1 x small English onion, quartered
2 x garlic cloves, smashed
1 x bay leaf
half a bottle dry white wine or water
salt and freshly ground black pepper
black pudding and cannellini bean stew250g black pudding (or morcilla), roughly chopped or crumbled
1 x can of cooked cannellini beans (about 400g), drained and rinsed
2 x garlic cloves, very finely chopped
2 x English onions, chopped
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 x bay leaf
1 x red pepper, de-seeded and cut into strips (about 1cm wide)
200 ml red or white wine
salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200C / Gas Mark 6.
- Season the inside of the chicken with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Stuff the cavity with the onion quarters, bay leaf and garlic cloves. (Any of the quarters that won't fit can be lobbed into the roasting tin to roast with the chicken.)
- Finely chop the garlic and rosemary together and combine with a little of the olive oil to form a paste.
- Massage about three quarters of the paste under the skin of the chicken. (Messy but satisfying!)The rest of the paste should be massaged into the surface of the chicken. If there is any left over, pop it inside the chicken cavity. Sprinkle a little salt over the chicken before placing it in the roasting tin. (I also tend to use a large onion, sliced into 4 pieces as a trivet for the chicken. Place them on the bottom of the roasting tin and place the chicken on top).
- Pour white wine or water around the chicken and roast the chicken for 20 minutes for every 500g in weight plus an extra 25 minutes in the oven, and 10 to 15 minutes resting time.
- After the first 20 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 180C / Gas Mark 4. Baste and return to the oven for the rest of the cooking time. Check every 20 minutes or so. Baste again if you want to. Add more wine or water if it looks as if it is drying up.
- If it looks as if the chicken is burning, then cover in foil.
- While the chicken is roasting, make the black pudding and cannellini bean stew.
- Heat a little oil in large pan and gently fry the onions until softened (about 10 minutes).
- Add the garlic and red pepper and gently cook for a further 5 minutes, before adding the smoked paprika and the bay leaf. Make sure that the paprika is combined well with the vegetables, before stirring in the cannellini beans. Stir to combine once more, and then add the red wine.
- Bring to the boil, and then simmer for 15 minutes. The sauce should reduce a little. Check the seasoning and it is ready to serve.
- The chicken is cooked when the juices run clear when the flesh is pierced with a sharp knife or skewer.
- Wrap the chicken in foil and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes, just enough time to perfect your gravy, finish off any other side dishes, such as roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings and vegetables of choice. (At the moment I am mostly eating parsnips and Savoy cabbage.)
- To make the gravy, pour off any excess fat but keep the pan juices. Place the roasting tin on the stove top, over a moderate heat. Add more wine, or vermouth or water. Heat through, scraping up the caramelised bits sticking to the bottom of the pan. Season with salt and pepper.
- I often serve the gravy drippings stirred into my favourite mushroom and sherry sauce.
- Yorkshire puddings and roast potatoes are a must with a Sunday lunch.
- This would work very well if you were to spatchcock the chicken, although reduce the cooking time.
- You could actually cook the black pudding and bean stew in the same pan as the chicken is roasting in, so that all of the juices from the chicken infuse the stew. You would need to give the black pudding, onion and pepper a quick stir fry before adding to the roasting tin. This would only need to bake for about 45 minutes.