with roasted new potatoes & home-made gravy
With baking so much recently it got to the stage where the glass on the oven door wasn’t as see-through as it once was. Elbow grease for ten sorted that out. That was Sunday, one of the hottest days of the year. And I was roasting chicken. Thankfully, as long as there’s no prep to do, I can have the oven on as I’m usually ensconced behind (or in front of) my laptop two rooms away, beside an open window. That aside, this is quite possibly one of the simplest roasts I’ve ever made. Earlier in the week, when I wanted to try roasting chicken in yoghurt, I did go online – the quagmire that is – to check for a suitable recipe. And I did my usual of getting the ‘ell out of there, and quick. So, when I’m not sure of a recipe I go with the basics, initially. And that included having to make do, so to speak, with a smallish roaster within a larger one with the smaller on top of a rack (see photo below Instructions).
There is reasoning behind this, besides owning a selection of roasters of differing sizes, as I’d wanted to roast the chicken actually in yoghurt and yet have other veg underneath for the gravy. And I’m so glad I did as this is as good, if not even better, than roasting chicken with lemon and garlic, something I’ve done in the past. I say good meaning better as this produced a sensational gravy, which never happens when roasting with lemon. And I love my gravy! Oh, it’s almost as if I can hear muttering…not another home-made gravy. Well, most of the top UK chefs and chefettes serve home-made gravy to their precious clientele. If it’s good enough for them…
- 500g x chicken leg quarters, skin and excess fat removed and discarded, score the thicker parts of meat with deep cuts (or for easier prep keep the skin on as the meat might be even more tender)
- 4 x serving spoonfuls plain yoghurt, approx. 200ml
- ½ x lime, juiced through a sieve
- 400g x new potatoes, scrubbed and coated in olive oil
- 2 x dried bay leaves, split
- 300g x onions, halved, peeled, trimmed and cut crossways into thick slices
- 4 x garlic cloves, root end cut off, garlic peeled and kept whole
- 1 x dried bay leaf, split
- 1 x medium sized green finger chilli (Scoville rating: 50,000), washed and kept whole
- 400ml x cold water + extra for the gravy
- 1 x broccoli stalk, trimmed and cut in half lengthways
- 2 x small stems fresh flat leaf parsley, rinsed
- ½ x organic vegetable stock cube
- 2 x tablespoons plain (AP) flour
- 2 x tablespoons olive or sunflower oil
- seasoning, both freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
- single (light) cream, to serve
- freshly snipped or chopped flat leaf parsley, to serve
- Preheat oven to 200°C.
- After removing the skin and excess fat of the chicken quarters hold them securely and score fairly deep cuts into the thicker parts of the thighs and drumsticks. Place in an oven suitable dish and pour the lime juice, through a sieve, over the chicken and make sure the meat is well coated. Set aside whilst preparing the other ingredients.
- Prep the onions, garlic, broccoli stalk and finger chilli (keeping the chilli whole) and add them to a larger roaster with the split bay leaf pieces and water. Place a rack on top and set aside.
- Prep the potatoes and coat them nicely in oil. Add the yoghurt to the chicken (making sure both sides are covered), place the potatoes alongside (adding some to a separate roaster if there are too many to fit), tuck the bay leaf pieces in and around the chicken. Place this smaller roaster on top of the rack, which is effectively inside the larger roaster, and place in the oven on the second shelf up, if using electric. Roast for an hour, basting the chicken and potatoes by turning them over halfway through. After the first hour (and the second basting) and before returning to the oven change the position of the shelf to second shelf down and continue to roast for another hour and ten, basting halfway through (times of roasting will probably vary according to oven used).
- Remove all from the oven and carefully separate the roasters. Remove the bay leaf pieces, chilli and the broccoli stalk (and set aside) from the onions and garlic, add the liquid (what’s left of it) to a measuring jug. Add any liquid that’s in the secondary roaster, holding the chicken and potatoes, as well, pouring this through a fine wire metal sieve to collect the yoghurt curds (to be discarded). Pour in enough cold water to top this up to 300ml. Transfer the onions and garlic to a blender with the liquid from the jug and purée this until smooth. Pour this through a fine wire metal sieve held above a large heavy-based saucepan (that’s going to be large enough to hold not only the gravy but also the chicken pieces as well). Rub the purée through with a wooden spoon discarding the pulp that’s left in the sieve. Grab all of this new purée from underneath the sieve as well. Add the parsley, half a vegetable stock cube, reserved bay leaf pieces, chilli and one of the broccoli pieces from the onions and put on electric heat No 3 (out of 6).
- In the meantime add the flour and oil to a small saucepan and put on heat No 1. Stir this occasionally and take off heat if any bubbling occurs, putting back on heat to continue. It takes about 5 minutes to cook out the flour, which must not change colour or scorch. After that time take off heat and set aside.
- When the gravy is starting to heat through add some of the roux (oil and flour mixture) and stir constantly, upping the heat to No 4 if necessary. Stir often until the gravy thickens, adding all of the roux if necessary. Taste for any needed seasoning (at this point I would add freshly ground black pepper only). Add a little single cream to gain the consistency needed, lower the heat and add the chicken pieces. The bay leaf pieces, chilli, parsley and broccoli can be removed and discarded before serving. Put on a lid and reheat the chicken (scraping off any yoghurt curds and discarding those) for about 5 minutes before serving. Add the potatoes to a shallow pan with a little oil and butter and reheat those, again just before serving.
- Serve with fresh peas, mangetout or sugar snap peas.
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