When not slaving away with only Twitter and mad dog for company, I occasionally have a 'life.' This usually entails cooking for friends, trying far too many wines, and the occasional entire day out. I will post my ramblings, recipes and recommendations here on the 'Gourmet on the Go' blog. Hope you find something of interest!
This is one of those classic recipes that evokes the ‘Ooh’ effect amongst family and guests – delicious moist chicken, sweet roasted garlic, and the dry zesty tang of a good glass of wine. The wonderful flavours and aromas of this dish give the impression of a host that has slaved away; yet, it takes minutes to put together with a minimal amount of fuss. Please don’t be put off by the amount of garlic used, as it really makes the dish a delight, and is not at all harsh or overpowering. Try it – you will love it!
Moist roasted chicken with sweet plump garlic, and a beautiful garlicy wine jus/gravy/sauce - so easy and SO good.
1 Free Range Chicken, approx 1.5 kilos/ 3 lbs
3 plump whole heads/bulbs of garlic
1 glass/275ml dry white wine (Riesling or Chenin Blanc is ideal)
4 sprigs of thyme
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
Salt & pepper
Preheat your oven to 375F/190C/Gas Mark 5
Break up your heads of garlic and separate the big cloves from the tiny ones (no need to peel, just remove the white papery outer skin.)
Heat a large frying pan over a moderate heat. Add the butter and olive oil.
When the butter starts to bubble, add your whole chicken to the pan, turning on all sides every minute of so until the chicken is golden and bronzed. (This will add extra flavour to the chicken, as well improve the texture and appearance of the skin.)
Transfer your chicken to a large baking dish, place the small garlic cloves in the main cavity, surround with the larger cloves of garlic, tip in your wine, throw in the thyme and season well with salt and pepper.
Cover the dish with a snug lid or tin foil and bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour 20 minutes.
Transfer the chicken to a serving dish and allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving and serving with the beautiful garlic and juices.
I like to serve this with mashed potato and green beans, squeezing out the garlic and mixing with buttery mash. It’s also great just with bread to mop up those wonderful juices.
Wine Match – Chilled Riesling or Chenin Blanc.
Foodie fashion is a funny thing, in recent years all of the maximum flavour yet minimum cost cuts have become en vogue, with notable restaurants serving them up to eager customers. Think pork belly, pig, beef & ox cheeks, game and offal – from hearts to tongues. Now this is the kind of fodder I was brought up on, for the taste and frugal factor; feeding a family well on a budget takes a lot of ingenuity, and a good dollop of skill and sourcing.
To the point, I have not noticed Brisket coming up in general chatter, which is a shame. Brisket is a beautiful cut with a good ration of fat to give the meat extra flavour and keep it moist and succulent.
Unfortunately, brisket is not so much of a bargain as it used to be, although is still great value when compared with more popular beef joints. The cold cuts are fabulous with creamed horseradish in a sandwich, or cut up and added to stir-fries. So treat this beauty with respect and you can enjoy at least two hearty meals for a family of four, with enough for sandwiches too.
The following recipe is a great one pot dish, resulting in soft juicy brisket, delicious sweet and earthy vegetables, and beautiful gravy – serve with mashed potato and a bottle of Merlot for a tasty treat.
Prep Time – 15minutes Cook Time – 3 hours + 15mins resting Serves – 6 – 8
Ingredients: 1 ½ kg rolled beef brisket
12 shallots (or a large onion, peeled and chopped)
12 chantenay carrots (or 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped)
6 fat cloves of garlic
250ml of beef or veal stock
Glass of red wine, approx 200ml (I used a deep, fruity Merlot)
2 sprigs of thyme
1 tbsp olive oil & tbsp of unsalted butter
Salt and pepper
Preheat your oven to gas mark 2, 150C, 300F
Peel and trim your shallots and carrots.
In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil with the butter over a medium heat until bubbling. Add your beef and sear on all sides, browning and turning as you go.
Once the beef has a lovely golden colour, place it in the roasting tin you will be using for cooking.
Add the shallots and carrots to the frying pan to brown very slightly in the cooking fat, then, once golden transfer to the roasting pan with the beef
Add the glass of wine to the frying pan to ‘deglaze’ the pan and allow to reduce by half.
Once the wine is reduced add your stock to just warm through, when it starts to bubble, add the liquid to your roasting tin with all of the other ingredients and season with salt and pepper.
Place a tight fitting lid on your roasting pan or secure tightly with tin foil. Place on the hob and just warm through until you can hear the liquids bubbling, then transfer to the middle of the oven and roast for 3 hours.
After 3 hours, remove your beef and vegetables to a warm plate and cover within tin foil, rest for 15-20 minutes in a warm part of the kitchen, to allow all of the juices in the meat to disperse.
Whilst the meat is resting, place your roasting pan on top of the hob on a medium heat, reducing the pan juices a little before serving. If you prefer thicker gravy, mash a tablespoon of soft butter with a tablespoon of plain flour; add a little to your gravy at a time and whisk in vigorously, cooking for a few minutes until adding more until desired thickness is reached.
Carve the meat, removing the string as you go (this helps to keep the meat intact when carving), serve with the vegetables and spoon over the gravy. I like to serve this dish with mashed potato to squeeze the garlic onto and mash in – lovely.