Lemon & Tarragon Roast Chicken
Roast chicken is one of those comfort foods that never fail. I roasted this one with lemon & garden tarragon. Don’t forget to keep the bones and any left over scraps to make delicious stock for soup!
1 large chicken
1 chicken stock cube
150ml white wine
- Heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4.
- Put the chicken breast side down in a roasting tin or high sided pot with a lid (I have a Le Creuset casserole which I use).
- Cut the lemon into quarters, squeeze the juice over the chicken and use 2 to stuff into the cavity and 2 to sit in the roasting tin or pot.
- Stuff half of the tarragon into the chicken’s cavity and scatter the remainder into the roasting tin or pot.
- Crumble the stock cube around the chicken, pour over the glasses of wine and water. Grind over some black pepper.
- Cover the roasting tin with foil or put the lid on the pot and put into the oven. Depending on the size of your chicken, roast for 40mins per kilo or the amount specified on the chicken’s packaging.
- Once time is up, remove the chicken from the oven and allow to rest in a warm place for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Strain off the cooking juices into a small pan, bring back to the boil, removing any fat that rises to the surface. Thicken with a little cornflour if necessary, taste for seasoning and keep warm while you portion the chicken onto plates. Serve with the gravy either on the side or poured over the top.
Sweet Potato & Ginger Soup
A beautiful light and flavoursome soup for a cool spring day.
1 kg sweet potatoes, peeled & roughly chopped
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 tin coconut milk
1 ltr chicken or vegetable stock
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp fresh ginger, finely grated
¼ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp ground ginger
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a heavy based pot, add the onion and sweet potato & fry gently for a few minutes, stirring now and again.
- Add the fresh ginger & garlic, turmeric, chilli flakes, paprika & ground ginger, stir well, making sure all the vegetables are coated, then add the stock and coconut milk.
- Bring to the boil, put a lid on the pan and simmer for 20 mins.
- Blitz with a blender, season with salt & pepper, serve.
The onion & sesame seeds in this flatbread make the flavour. Don’t scrimp on the salt either
200g self-raising flour
200g natural yogurt
1 tbsp black onion seeds
1 tbsp sesame seeds
½ tsp salt
- Mix the flour, yogurt and salt and seeds together to a soft dough, add a little water if it’s too dry.
- Knead lightly and divide into 6 pieces.
- Heat a heavy based frying pan over a medium heat.
- Roll out each ball of dough on a lightly floured surface to a round approx. the same diameter as the base of the frying pan.
- Remove excess flour from the dough by flapping the rolled-out disk between your hands a couple of times, then flip it into the bottom of the frying pan. Cook for 1 ½ to 2 minutes each side.
- Remove and wrap in a cloth to keep warm while you make the remaining bread.
Spice Crusted Chicken Breast
Sometimes you just want a piece of roasted meat without a sauce. Adding a rub to chicken breasts gives them flavour without the surface drying out too much. I served mine with steamed quinoa cabbage.
4 chicken breasts, each approx. 150g in weight
1 tsp fennel seed
1 tsp cumin seed
1 tsp coriander seed
1 tsp fenugreek seed
1 tsp black peppercorns
½ tsp salt
Drizzle of olive oil
- Heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas6
- Toast the spices in a dry frying pan for a few seconds until the aromas are released. Tip them into a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Once cool, grind to a rough powder.
- Slash the chicken breasts a couple of times with a knife, drizzle over the olive oil and rub over the chicken.
- Sprinkle over the spices, getting it into the slashes in the chicken.
- Put into the oven and roast for 20mins. Remove and allow the chicken to sit for 10 mins before slicing and serving with vegetables or salad.
Seabass, Caper, Preserved Lemon & Chilli Salsa Dressing
I made this as a dressing for barbecued seabass. They fell to pieces a bit taking them off the barbecue, but tasted delicious! If it’s not barbecue weather, cook the fish under a grill.
1 tbsp capers, drained & chopped
Juice of ½ lemon
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
5g mint leaves, finely shredded
1 tbsp preserved lemon, finely chopped
1 tsp chives
12 – 16 new potatoes, boiled
4 large ripe tomatoes
4 fillets of seabass
- Put all the dressing ingredients into a bowl and mix well.
- Soak 3 or 4 bamboo skewers and thread the potatoes onto them. Brush with a little oil.
- Slice the tomatoes and arrange on a large platter. Drizzle over half of the dressing.
- Cook the potatoes for 2 – 3 minutes each side on the barbecue or under the grill, turning to stop them getting too brown.
- Rub the fish with a little oil and put them skin down onto the barbecue, cook for about 1 minute, or until you start to see the flesh around the edges start to go opaque. Carefully turn over, cook for another 30 seconds, then lift off, put onto the tomatoes and drizzle with the remaining dressing.
- Serve each person some slice tomatoes with a fillet of fish and 3 or 4 potatoes.