The Sunday Roast
There is not a lot I find appealing about British food. Bland, unadventurous, carb heavy, expensive. I lived outside London years ago, and as a highly adventurous eater, I rolled my eyes hard regarding going out to eat. I loathe high tea and the crustless white bread sandwiches and candies. Okay, to be fair, the champagne made it bearable (but it always does, am I right?!)
There was one notable exception that I rather enjoyed, the Sunday Roast. My God, aside from hooking us up with this fabulous country, the Brits really nailed this hearty, comforting, social dish. It was like Thanksgiving every week…. but nobody gains weight (curious). There are many ways to execute a perfect display of roasted meat and vegetables, and today I chose chicken. It is even better that it can be done in one pan. Rainshadow chickens are the most flavorful chickens I have ever tasted. I think they must be dancing in the fields during their life because the bone broth is rich and the depth of flavor is magical. I invite you to try out this recipe, I know you won’t regret it.
British Sunday Roast
(serves as many as you want… but generally 4-5)
1 whole chicken
½ dozen or so small potatoes, small diced
2 large diakon (Rainshadow purple is fab), large diced
2 medium fennel bulbs, diced
2 large leeks, sliced ¼ inch thick
Salt and Pepper to taste
A splash of avocado oil
3 Tbsp flour
3 Tbsp butter (I used bacon fat)
Chopped parsley for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Boil a pot of salted water and par cook the potatoes for ~5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Separate the skin of the breast from the meat and massage the meat with oil, salt and pepper (this makes the skin extra crispy). Season the rest of the bird. Add to an oven safe dish (I love cast iron).
- Salt and pepper the potatoes and place inside the cavity, then truss the legs.
- Casually toss in the rest of the vegetables, oiled and seasoned around the bird.
- Roast 30 minutes to crisp the skin, then drop the temperature to 350F and roast an additional 45 minutes. (this is relative to the size of the bird, but relatively accurate. Place a thermometer in and it will be done at 165F in the thickest part of the breast or thigh).
- Remove the vegetables and set aside. Let the bird rest for 20-30 minutes. Remove the meat and use all the excess bones and fat to make a stock. Cover in a pressure cooker or pot with water and the leek tops and cook 30 minutes on pressure or 4-6 hours in a slow cooker.
- Discard the bones and bring the stock to a boil, reducing the liquid by half.
- In a separate pan, constantly whisk the butter and flour until it is a light golden brown.
- Add the reduced stock to the roux and whisk until it is thick like gravy.
- Plate with roasted vegetables, potatoes, and meat and smother with gravy. Top with parsley and serve. It’s truly delightful!