When I think of winter, a classic roast springs to mind. To be honest, this was always mum’s domain and I was more interested in trying new recipes growing up. So it wasn’t until I was well in to my 20’s that I actually cooked a roast myself – and what I’d been missing! They’re so easy to pull together; if you can get the timing right and ensure your meat isn’t over-cooked or dry. I am still only on chicken and haven’t really progressed to red meats just yet, I prefer to slow-cook mine. If you roast a chicken in a bag, you’re pretty much guaranteed to be enjoying a succulent chicken for dinner.
This is a meal that’s obviously great for the whole family but is also adaptable for any aged grub. For younger ones, you’ll want to pick out some kumara or potatoes as a base, add in some carrots, courgette, green beans or broccoli and maybe even some mushrooms or capsicum – whatever you’ve got going really! You’ll probably just want to leave out the onions. Add in some chicken, puree and you’ve got yourself a lunch or two for the next day. For older ones, you could shred the juicier parts of the chicken (thighs and drumsticks) using two forks or just cut up in to small pieces for those with more teeth.
Remember, you can include the skin for babies; a moderate amount of fat is good for them.
My recipe is my mum’s; it’s pretty easy but is almost always guaranteed to get that nice crispy skin on top without drying out. For babies under 1 year, you’ll want to omit the salt and add in afterwards for yourself. You can use any vegetables really, I put them all across one or two trays and cook them for the same length of time – mixed all together, there’s no need to separate them.
- 1 whole chicken (defrosted)
- 2 lemons
- Olive oil
- 250gm mushrooms
- 2 courgettes
- 1 head of broccoli
- 2 capsicum
- 2 medium kumara
- 2 carrots
- 2 red onion
- 4 – 5 cloves of garlic
- cut the lemons in half and stuff the chicken with them. Rub a good amount of olive oil over the skin of the chicken, including the drumsticks and wings – give it a good covering. Season with salt.
- Bake the chicken at 180c for 25 minutes per 500gm; normally this about 1hr for an average sized chicken. Basically, the chicken is done when you cut in to the gap between the thigh and the breast and the juices run clear.
- Once the chicken is in the oven, cut up all your vegetables in to decent chunks and place across one or two baking trays. Give them a good glug of olive oil and crush the garlic over them. Bake these at 180 for about 40 – 45 minutes until soft.
- When chicken and vegetables are cooked – dig in!