Roast Dinner – a simple pleasure

My Mum makes the most incredible Roast Dinners. I think it is probably why it took me so long to really try and do it myself. I think I was afraid of serving up soggy roast potatoes and over cooked carrots while I tried to get my timings right.

In the past couple of years, I’ve overcome my fear and now am very happy to serve up a roast dinner – if only for me and my boyfriend so far!

Chicken goes in first (thank goodness the timing is always on the packet – Thank you Sainsbury’s!) – usually 85-90 minutes. I tend to rub a small amount of olive oil on the skin and add some salt and pepper.

Potatoes next – I’ve started using new-potatoes…you don’t get the same crunchy coating, but you don’t need to par-boil them & they take just under an hour. Heat a couple of table spoons of olive oil ready to coat them (just stick the pan in the oven) and put them in when there’s about 50minutes left on the timer for the chicken.

Prepare the veg (today carrots, leek and kale) once the chicken and potatoes are in the oven, I put them in the steamer and leave them to one side. Baste the chicken roughly every half an hour and shake the potatoes at the same time.

Once the chicken is done – leave it out to rest while the potatoes finish cooking. Put on the veg to steam for about 5 minutes.

Done! If the potatoes are done more quickly – I stick them under the grill to stay warm.

Since the standard Bisto gravy granules have been out since going gluten free, I usually have just mixed half a teaspoon of bullion in with the juices from the chicken and some of the water from the vegetables. In reality, this hasn’t been great, but it sort of looked right and I was never a massive fan of gravy anyway.

We tried the Illumi Chicken Gravy, but it tasted too much like chicken soup to me – was better when it was watered down a bit, but not to my taste (unlike most of the other Illumi world food – I really recommend you take a look at their meals!)

Today, I brought the Kallo Organic Chicken Gravy Granules – it was a pound for a sachet, and the instructions said to use the whole lot with half a pint of water. I used half the packet, mixed with the vegetable water and some of the fat from the chicken and it was great. Would be better if they were available in a tub, as a pound a packet is a bit steep, but it was nice to have some proper gravy!

One comment

  1. Thanks for the lovely compliment about my roast dinners. For gravy you could also try draining most of the fat from the roasting tin, then keeping the tin off the heat, add some corn flour, depending on how much gravy you need, stir together well so the flour absorbs all the lovely meat juices, stir in some vegetable water a little at a time and put back on the heat – still stirring adding more vegetable water or stock as required. i often transfer the mixture into a saucepan at this point and use a baloon whisk to help remove any lumps – you could also strain it through a sieve, if necessary. You can always add some herbs and seasoning to improve the flavour and even a splash of wine! If it looks rather pale I’ve always used a little Gravy Browning (this is not the same as gravy powder so should not contain any gluten) it is made from caramel, molasses and spices to give the gravy a ricer brown colour.

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