Roast Chicken

A little while ago I bought a chicken and decided to cut it up into the individual parts so that I could cook them separately when I wanted to, otherwise they were stored in the freezer. However since my knife proved it wasn’t up to the job, I thought this time I would roast the chicken whole and them portion it off afterwards. Doing this saves a lot of money if you buy a lot of pre-packed chicken meals and means you always have something in the freezer for back up! I like to buy the free-range chicken and if you can get it discounted, even better (I bought mine £1.50 off per kilo) – so you end up paying just over £5 for a whole chicken basically. Anyhoo, this is what I did to marinate the chicken:

1. Season with salt and pepper and some dried herbs. Pat into chicken and leave in the fridge for as long as you have (overnight is ideal).

2. I popped a few cloves of fresh garlic inside the chicken too just to give it some extra flavour. Drizzle some oil over the chicken and place on an ovenproof dish. You could also add some onions and other vegetables in the dish if you wanted and other seasonings. I cooked it for about an hour at 200-220 degrees Celsius. To check when your chicken is done, insert a sharp knife into the body and see whether the juices run clear (yep done) or red (it needs a little more cooking).

Roast Chicken

3. After cooking you can then start shredding it and taking of the meat – I ended up getting about 8 individual portions from it (with the help of recycled pasta bags for storage in the freezer)!

Shredded Chicken Chicken portions

4. Make sure you save the residue from the oven dish as you can just run a little water onto it and scrape of the remainder into a large pot for stock (keep the bones and any leftover bits of meat too as they really enhance the flavour).

Chicken stock

Homemade garlic bread

After seeing quite a few shop-bought garlic bread packs taken out of neighbouring freezers and shoved into the oven – I thought I would do a quick post of how to make your own garlic butter. I always find shop-bought garlic bread is nearly always far too buttery, so making your own is a slightly healthier alternative and in my view tastes fresher! To completely make your own garlic bread, you could make lovely little rolls or a baguette from a basic bread recipe – wholemeal is even better. I saw these ‘bake at home’ rolls in Tesco’s on sale and was inspired to make use them for garlic bread so used those instead.

All you will need is some:

-Butter

-Garlic

-Mixed herbs

-Bread rolls

Garlic bread ingredients

Now there isn’t really an exact ‘recipe’ for this garlic butter so you can just season according to personal taste. Crush and finely chop as much as possible some garlic cloves depending on how much garlic butter you want. For the six rolls here, I used one clove.

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Add a large knob of butter and mix together thoroughly. I also added in some dried mixed herbs at this point. Cut the rolls lengthways with a sharp knife and spread some of the garlic butter inside.

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These garlic bread rolls are easy to freeze so you can defrost them as and when you need them. Leftover garlic butter is delicious on toast or a served with steak. I actually ate them with the roast chicken wings, carrots and rice I had for dinner a few nights ago – it was a hearty meal for a starving person!

Hearty dinner

I actually par-boiled the carrots beforehand and then put them underneath the roasting chicken wings to absorb the flavour and juices for the last 10-15 minutes of cooking.