I am in the middle of essay hell again! I have an essay on e-books due in the week after next, I have at least started the reading for it and I am hopeful it will get done in time! Its just not a very interesting topic! This necessitates some good old comfort food, especially as although the snow has now largely gone, it still cold out there!
Last weekend I made Chinese Style Roast Chicken from one of my Leiths cookbooks. Roast chicken is one of my favourite meals, although usually done more traditionally with roast potatoes, parsnips, bread sauce, etc, so it was nice to try an alternative.
This recipe was really tasty, the chicken came from Borough Market so I knew it was good quality, but it was so tender and the leg meat just fell off the bone. The flavours worked really well together, and the sherry gravy was delicious. I used sweet potato instead of ordinary potatoes for a bit of variation and that worked really well too.
Chinese-style Roast Chicken with Spicy Potatoes and Stir-fried Vegetables (adapted from Leiths Simple Cookery)
1 x 1.35 kg chicken, giblets removed
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp oil
1 stick of cinnamon
1 star anise
2 large sweet potatoes, cut into 1 1/2 cm cubes
1/2 tsp Chinese five spice
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp clear honey
1/2 glass of sherry mixed with 1/2 glass of water
2 tsp cornflour
450g mixed vegetables ready to stir fry
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 200C. Weigh the chicken and calculate the cooking time at 20 mins per 450g plus 20 mins.
Smear the chicken all over with soy sauce, then drizzle with 2 tbsp oil. Put the cinnamon and star anise inside the cavity of the chicken. Place in a roasting pan and roast in the top of the oven for the calculated time.
Meanwhile, toss the sweet potatoes in a little oil, the Chinese five spice, cayenne and 1 tsp salt. Roast in the oven for about 20-25 mins until crisp.
After the chicken has been roasting for 1 hour, remove it from the oven and brush it with the honey. Pour the sherry and water mixture into the bottom of the roasting pan and return to the oven until the chicken is cooked.
When cooked, remove the chicken from the roasting pan and keep warm. Heat the roasting pan on the hob, scraping any sediment from the bottom of the pan to dissolve it. Taste and if the flavour is too strong, add more water, if too weak, boil vigorously to reduce. Miss the tsp of cornflour with 2 tsp of warm water. Slake the cornflour into the sauce. Bring to the boil, the cook for a further 2 mins, adding more water if the sauce becomes too thick. Season with salt and pepper.
Just before serving, stir-fry the vegetables in a large wok or frying pan with a little soy sauce and 1 tsp of honey if desired.
Carve the chicken and serve with the vegetables, potatoes and sauce.