Roasted chicken with spring vegetables and a Pinos Blanc Jus

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Spring Chicken | Le Fermier

In this day and age, when you can buy a roast chicken in every supermarket, why would anyone bother going to the effort of cooking a fresh chook at home? I mean, who has the time to cook at home when the supermarket option is so quick and healthy, right? And the fact that it’s been sitting under the heat lamps in the deli section on the bain marie since 4pm that day surely won’t mean it will be dry and tasteless by the time you get it home, right?

What if I told you, you could make a fresh, healthy and succulent roasted chicken at home without having to wait the 2 hours it normally takes a chicken to roast? Well, I’m telling you, you can!

The brilliance and simplicity of this cheat’s chicken dish is that instead of cooking the bird whole, you cut it into smaller pieces while it’s still raw and smaller pieces = shorter cooking time. We also seal the meat in a pan before it goes into the oven. This also shortens the cooking time and means you still get that golden crispy skin you get from oven roasting for a long time.

Speaking of skin, I know there are two very distinct camps when it comes to this. Whether you like to eat you’re chicken with or without skin, I recommend you leave it on for this cooking process and then do as you will once it’s on your plate.

The garnish for this dish is really any in-season vegetables that you love, which are simply roasted on the same tray as your chicken once it goes into the oven. I chose to use dutch carrots, artichoke hearts (très delicieux!), sweet potato and red onion.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 2 small size sweet potatoes
  • 2 bunches baby dutch carotts
  • 5 globe artichokes
  • 2 spanish onions
  • 5 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 bunch thyme

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  2. Cut the chicken into smaller pieces (about 12 or so) with a sharp knife.
  3. Season your chicken pieces with salt and pepper.
  4. Place a large frying pan on medium heat and place a small knob of coconut oil into the pan to melt.
  5. Place the chicken pieces into the pan in small lots so as not to overfill the pan and seal the chicken just until it becomes golden and crispy around the outside
  6. Set this first lot of chicken aside and repeat the above step until you’ve sealed all the chicken
  7. In the meantime, start prepping your veggies. The shape is really up to you. I choose to leave my carrots whole, dice my sweet potatoes, quarter my artichoke hearts and cut my onions in wedges. With the artichoke you’ll need to take off the leaves, the little bit of fluff inside and also the green part of the stems.
  8. Once you’ve sealed all the chicken pieces, arrange them in a roasting tray and arrange the spring vegetables around it. Crush the garlic cloves with the flat side of a knife and place into the tray whole. Take the thyme leaves off the sprig and sprinkle over the chicken and vegetables.
  9. Deglaze your pan with about 200 ml of Pinos blanc or even a Sauvignon blanc. By that I mean pour the wine into the pan and let it simmer on low heat for a minute to fuse all the delicious flavours together. Then, pour it over the chicken and put the tray in the oven for about 50 minutes to 1 hour.
  10. You’ll know your chicken is ready if the meat falls from the bone when pressed gently. Voilà! Your chicken is ready! I recommend a lovely glass of chilled Pinos Blanc to go with it.

Bon Appétit,

Le Fermier

Two ways to cook Cabbage

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Cabbage is prepared and consumed in many ways. The simplest options include eating the vegetable raw or steaming it, though many cuisines pickle, stew, sautée or braise cabbage. Pickling is one of the most popular ways of preserving cabbage, creating dishes such as sauerkraut and kimchee, although kimchee is more often made from Chinese cabbage . Savoy cabbages are usually used in salads, while smooth-leaf types are utilized for both market sales and processing. While the British dish bubble and squeak is made primarily with salt beef and boiled cabbage. In Poland, cabbage is one of the main food crops, and it features prominently in Polish cuisine. Sauerkraut is a frequent dish, either eaten on its own or as a stuffing for other dishes such as golabki (stuffed cabbage) and pierogi (filled pasta). Other eastern European countries, such as Hungary and Romania, also have traditional dishes that feature cabbage as a main ingredient. In India and Ethiopia, cabbage is often included in spicy salads and braises. In the United States, cabbage is used primarily for the production of coleslaw, followed by market use and sauerkraut production.

 

Stuffed Cabbage leaves:

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 savoy cabbage
  • 200 beef mince (free range)
  • 200 g pork mince ( free range)
  • 1 bunch thyme
  • 3 shallots
  • 3 garlic
  • 2 field mushroom
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 100 ml white wine
  • 150 ml vegetables stock

 

Method: Carefully peel the leaves of the cabbage. Blanch (cook) them in salted boiling water for 1 ½ minutes, then refresh them in cold water. Place the cabbage leaves on kitchen paper to dry them.

Heat up a pot on medium heat with a little bit of butter and olive oil. Add the diced shallots and crushed garlic, cook for about 2 minutes• Add the diced mushroom, chili flakes, smoked paprika and thyme. Cook for about 3-4 minutes then add the white wine and vegetable stock, reduce the liquid by half.  Place the mix in the fridge to cool down. In a bowl mix both the minces and the garnish together, add 1 eggs, salt and pepper. Place a small amount of mince in the center of the cabbage leave and wrap the leaf around the mince making sure all sides are closed. Cook the stuffed cabbage in a pan on medium heat for about 5 minutes on one side, and then add 150 ml vegetable stock and cook for a further 5-6 minutes on the other side. My favorite way to enjoy stuffed cabbage is with braised or roasted vegetables, what’s yours?

Port sauce:

  • 100 ml port
  • 1 diced shallots
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ¼ bunch thyme
  • 150 ml vegetable stock

 

Method: Cook the diced shallots, garlic and thyme for about 5 minutes on a medium heat. Add the port and reduce by half, then add the vegetable stock. Reduce the sauce by half. To thicken it to your liking, mix some melted butter and flour into a paste and whisk a little bit into the sauce. Cook the sauce for a further 5 minutes.

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Braised cabbage :

Ingredients:

  • 1 savoy cabbage
  • 4 bacon rashers
  • 3 diced shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic ( crushed)
  • ½ bunch thyme
  • 150 ml white wine

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Method:  In a hot cooking pot, add a bit of olive oil and butter. Cook the diced shallots, bacon, garlic and chopped thyme for about 5 minutes. Add the cabbage, stir it and then add the white wine, turn the heat down, put the lid on and leave to cook for a good 10 minutes. Carefully take the lid off and season to taste. My favorite way to enjoy braised cabbage is to eat it with some delicious free range pork sausages. What’s yours?

 

To watch the how to video on my YouTube channel click on the following ling: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JgL38Kwcfc