Empire Roast Chicken

(Not exactly going to win any awards for food photography or clean cooker hobs that one)

Living in a nerd nest (that’s my new favourite phrase at the moment, I should explain that Mr. Lacer is a geek and both children are thoroughly taking after him), weekends can be a little boring if you’re not the type who’s happy to spend the entire time in front of a screen. So I’ve decided I’m going to cook a bit more at the weekends, as I certainly don’t have much time during the week. So today I made Jamie Oliver’s Empire Roast Chicken and Bombay potatoes (recipe here). It’s basically roast chicken with a spicy yoghurt marinade (which burns black, so you have to flake it off afterwards) and roast, spicy new potatoes.

Now I’m not that into cooking roasts (specially as the kids used to be a lot more fussy than they are now) but it did look nice when Jamie cooked it on TV, so I thought I’d have a go. It certainly was an interesting way of cooking the chicken, as you have to put the marinated chicken on the bars of your oven shelf and then put the baking tray underneath containing some onion, stock and various delicious smelling flavourings. The contents of the baking tray were to make a gravy but I think the steam coming from the tray helped make the chicken so break apart tender it was delicious. And unusually for me when I flavour a roast chicken with something, it actually tasted of the marinade.

I was a little restricted when making this because the lovely Mr. Lacer had cleaned out the kitchen cupboards last week and thrown out all the out of date stuff, which included most of my spices and when menu planning this I hadn’t thought to check whether I actually still had the spices needed. But even so, with what I did have, it was, like I say, delicious and considering the kids were eating it I didn’t want it too spicy anyway (one thing I still need to work on them is curries).

The potatoes were ok but I think suffered more from me missing a few of the spices / restricting the spicyness anyway. The gravy was delicious but most of it had boiled off and I had to add more water.

Overall I liked it, Mr. Lacer (a very fussy chicken eater) liked it, Girl Lacer liked the potatoes but not the chicken, although she ate a bit (she’s not a great meat eater, unless it’s bacon) and Boy Lacer loved it, including the gravy (me and Boy Lacer are the token gravy eaters in this household, Girl Lacer can’t stand gravy and Mr. Lacer is not keen). However, much as this recipe worked I spent the whole time cooking it thinking pasta (what we normally eat at the weekends) is a hell of a lot easier, so I won’t be cooking this again in a hurry but if the urge hits me to cook up a hunk of meat again, I will definitely go for this over any other roast chicken recipe I’ve tried, if anything just to flood the flat again with the gorgeous, gorgeous smell of it cooking.

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