Thursday, April 2, 2015

Perfect Roast Chicken with Lemon, Fresh Herbs and Veg

What a really easy delicious Roast Chicken Dinner this was.  And a mid week treat that's for sure. 
Normally our Roast Chicken is very traditional - being a Classic Roast Chicken with Sage and Onion Stuffing but today I thought I needed something also full of flavour but easy to prepare - you know minimal fuss.  Now my good friend, Mr Jamie Oliver, provides a bevvy of these kind of meals so I went straight to his website and never doubting him, he came up with the goods and this recipe was on the screen for all the world to see... oh well me as I was the only one looking at the screen.
Perfect Roast Chicken with Lemon, Fresh Herbs and Veg - it was decided!!!  That's how are chicken would be sacrificed tonight - well a few tweaks here and there - but it was sorted.
No stuffing this time - no need.  Filling the cavity with fresh herbs and whole lemon gave the chicken the same if not better flavours and aromas of a full herby breadcrumb stuffing plus with a lot less fuss.  The vegetables were perfect - taking on the flavours of the chicken and one dish later - it was all done.  Except for the saucepan to make the gravy of course.
The chook we served up tonight was perfectly cooked - juicy, tender with a yummy crispy skin.....

Perfect Roast Chicken with Lemon, Fresh Herbs and Veg
(recipe adapted from
Serves: 6
ProPoints per Serve: 12
1.6 kg whole chicken
6 medium potatoes, halved
2 medium onions, quartered
4 carrots, large slices
2 bulbs garlic, halved
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup water
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon
1 small bunch fresh thyme, rosemary, bay or sage, or a mixture
2 tablespoons Chicken Gravy powder
2 tablespoons cold water

Take your chicken out of the fridge 1 hour before it goes into the oven.   Remove packaging, rinse and drain.  Pat dry with paper towel. 

Preheat your oven to 240 degrees Celsius.

Pile all the vegetables and garlic into the middle of a large roasting dish and drizzle with half of the olive oil.  Pour in 1 cup of water.

Drizzle the chicken with remaining olive oil and season well with salt and pepper, rubbing it all over the bird. Carefully prick the lemon all over, using the tip of a sharp knife or a skewer. Put the lemon inside the chicken's cavity, with the bunch of herbs.

Place the chicken on top of the vegetables in the roasting dish and put it into the preheated oven. Turn the heat down immediately to 200 degrees Celsius.  Cook the chicken for 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Baste the chicken halfway through cooking and if the veg look dry, add some more water to the roasting tray to stop them burning.

Check to ensure chicken is cooked by poking with a skewer through the thickest point - it's cooked if the juices run clear.  take the dish out of the oven and transfer the chicken to a board to rest for 15 minutes or so. Cover it with a layer of tinfoil and a tea towel and put aside.

Transfer pan juices to a small saucepan leaving vegetables in the roasting dish.   Return vegetables to the oven to keep warm and crisp up. 
Mix gravy powder with water and stir through pan juices in the saucepan.  Place saucepan over medium heat, bring to the boil and cook until slightly thickened, stirring continuously.  Place in jug or gravy boat.
Cut chicken into pieces. Remove vegetables from the oven and place chicken pieces on top of the vegetables.  Serve with the gravy and extra ProPoint free vegetables, if desired.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Slow Cooker Balsamic Honey Pulled Pork Sliders with Slaw

This was a wonderful feed, especially with it being school holidays here in Victoria and we had a house full of extra children sleeping over.  Fork free dining is always a treat for the kids and adults a like and this was definitely a meal that was a relaxing event - even cooking it was easy.

A piece of Pickled Pork drowned in a thick aromatic marinade slow cooked for 9 hours, shredded apart just before serving and then served with the sauce, coleslaw and nice fresh buns.... every meal should be this easy.

Slow Cooker Balsamic Honey Pulled Pork Sliders with Slaw
(recipe adapted from Just A Taste)
Serves: 12
ProPoints per Serve: 9

1 kilogram Pickled Pork or boneless pork shoulder
1 onion, diced
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup blackberry or raspberry jam
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon crushed chilli
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon cornflour
3 tablespoons cold water
1 x 200 gram packet coleslaw kit (with dressing included)
12 slider-sized buns or  dinner rolls

Trim any excess fat from the pork shoulder and place it in the slow cooker.  Sprinkle with onions.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the honey, balsamic vinegar, jam, hoisin, chilli, chicken broth, garlic, salt and pepper.  Pour the sauce over the pork shoulder.

Cover the slow cooker and cook the pork shoulder on LOW for 9 hours until it is no longer pink and is cooked through.

Using tongs, remove the pork shoulder from the slow cooker (reserving the liquids) and place it on a cutting board. Using two forks, shred the pork shoulder into smaller pieces. Place the pulled pork in a large bowl.

Meanwhile remove all liquid from slow cooker into a saucepan, draining the onions out if preferred.  Place over medium heat, slowly bringing to the boil.  In a small bowl, whisk together the cornflour with water.  Whisk through the cornflour, mixing well.  Bring to full boil and cook until it reduces and has thickened slightly for about 5 minutes.  Put into a serving bowl and set aside.

Make the coleslaw as per the packet directions using the sauce included.

Halve the buns. Divide the pulled pork between the buns, drizzling sauce over the pork and serving with some slaw.

Note: I have allowed 3 ProPoints per roll (35g each).  You could also serve with a 0ppt salad on omit the Coleslaw at 1ppts per serve.

(Click here for a printable version of this recipe)