This is my version of Sunday Roast after having watched how Gary did his on one of the Masterclass shown on Masterchef. Sunday roast is typical of UK and is a traditional British main meal. Usually cooked up on Sunday, it consist of a main roasted meat served with plenty accompaniments such as roasted potatoes, gravy, Yorkshire pudding etc. Wikipedia has a darn good explanation on how you define a Sunday Roast.
Here, I've done a roast chicken served with roasted vegetables, individual Yorkshire puddings and a pan gravy. Though roast potatoes is kinda like a must-have in every roast, I don't have it here simply because I didn't have any in my pantry. I've thrown together all the leftover vegetables I have in my fridge and roast that with the chicken. Yes, I know....pretty unhealthy to have the vegetables catching the meat drippings but it also catches the juices. I don't do this often. You can choose to roast the vegetables in a hotter, separate oven but I only have one oven and I wanna do it all at one go just to save myself some hassle.
Talking about accompaniments, this is my first time making Yorkshire pudding and man....they were a success and they tasted great. Absolutely adore hand-me-down recipes or recipes that comes from someone's mum or grandma. Just in case some of you would like to know about the history of Yorkshire Pudding, again, Wikipedia has a darn good write-up about Yorkshire Pudding and it's origin. In a nutshell, the name itself, Yorkshire is derived and originated from a place in England, called Yorkshire. Yorshire pudding is made up of a batter consisting of egg, plain flour, milk and salt. It is chilled and poured into a hot and smoky lard-filled pan. It's the very hot and smoky and very cold batter that puff up the pudding.
Some tricks that I've learnt from watching Masterchef is that when making Yorkshire pudding, bake it at high temperature without opening the oven door because it will completely deflate the pudding. When time is up, quickly flip them over and pop it back into the oven to dry and crisp up the base for a few minutes. Yorkshire pudding done this way is absolutely gorgeous, holds its shape better and is very very puffy and stay crispy for a long time. Try to use lard if possible because it has a high smoking point compared to oil. The Yorkshire pudding is good in soaking up the gravy and deliciously wipe your plate clean towards the end of the meal. Neither butter nor lard are desperately good for you, so you might as well go with lard. I've rendered pork skin and use pork lard. So loving it.....
As for the roast chicken, I've opted to use a dry spice rub. After having seen it at Pei-Lin's blog and how she rave about Tony Chachere’s original Creole seasoning and how Christine braised chicken thigh with it, I figured this must be very very good. I trust food bloggers, they never lie. I did a thorough search on the Internet and it lead me back-to-back to Emeril Lagasse's Creole Essence. Call it what you like, Creole Blast, Creole Seasoning, Bayou Blast, Creole Essence and so forth. Whatever it is, it tasted awesome and I am loving it. I can't wait to try it with Tessa Kiros's buttermilk fried chicken and cook with it and season my dishes with Creole Seasoning in place of salt. I was so madly in love with it that I've used it quite heavily throughout the recipe. You need not follow really, this is just what I ate.
Here's what I've done for our Sunday Lunch....
(This is Emeril Lagasse's recipe)
2.5 tsp paprika (I used a Hungarian Sweet one)
2 tsp salt
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp dried oregano, bruised between your fingers
1 tsp dried thyme, bruised between your fingers
Combine the above in a small bowl and whisk until very well combined.
One whole free-range chicken, approximately 1.3kg or 4 large Marylands
Softened butter to your liking (optional)
Preheat your oven to 200°C. Wash the chicken thoroughly and pat it until very dry. Working gently but not too delicate, run your fingers and slide it under the skin to loosen it up. It doesn't really matter since nothing will leak out because you're using a dry rub. Of course if you choose to make it richer and would like to place softened butter in it as well, you might wanna be careful to not tear the skin just so the butter will not leak out during the roasting process. Rub it generously with Creole Seasoning. No specific amount, just until when it is evenly coated in a single layer like shown in the above picture. Yes, my marylands are gigantic! Set it aside for now.
You can use anything and any amount you like but here's what I've used:
1 large head of broccoli, broken into small florets, chopped the stems smaller
3 carrots, chunked
1 large tomato, wedges
6 cloves of whole garlic, washed, left unpeeled and left whole
Sprinkle just a little creole seasoning over them and toss to coat well. If you find it hard to toss, add in a dash of EVOO. If you have potatoes, please please include them in, they go so well with any roast meat. Place them in a large roasting tray and pop the chicken on top of them so they are sitting on the vegetables. Gather them around (see below) to have them really roasted rather than just baking in their own fat and juices. Pop them into the oven for an hour, checking often.
Yorkshire Pudding: make the batter and chill it in the fridge for an hour or more
(adapted from Masterchef, Gary's mum recipe)
1/2 cup plain flour
30g lard, or more
Place the flour in a mixing bowl and make a well at the centre. Crack in the egg, milk and a pinch of salt. Whisk vigorously until well aerated and well combined. Chill it until needed. Meanwhile, dollop a generous teaspoon of lard into each muffin hole (approximately 1/3 cup capacity). I dolloped 5 holes and the batter was just nice.
Note: Towards the middle of roasting, I changed my roasting method a little. I really wanted a crisp skin so I need to render the fat completely. I place the chicken on a wire rack and place the wire rack over the roasted vegetable tray. I continue roasting it until it was evenly browned and cooked. To test for doneness, when you pierce the chicken on the meatiest part, the juices that ooze out should be white and not red. Remove from the oven completely and pop in the prepared muffin pan for Yorkshire pudding. Turn the heat up to 220°C and let it heat for 5 minute or so.
Meanwhile, remove the chicken to a large plate and let it rest. Remove the roasted vegetables from the roasting tray by straining it. Let it drain in a large wire sieve. Let the pan juices and pan dripping settle. Strain off as much fat as possible into another small bowl. The fat is an obvious red-coloured oil and the pan juices will have bits if broccoli floating in it.
1 tbsp flour
3/4 cup chicken stock
2 tbsp pan fat
All pan juices
Chicken juices released during resting time
Creole Seasoning to taste
Heat up a pan and add in 2 tbsp of the pan fat. When smoky, add in the tablespoon of flour and whisk to form a roux. When combined, pour in the cup of chicken stock and cook until it thickens. Add in whatever juices that is released from the chicken during this resting period and thicken it further to your desired consistency. Season to taste with Creole Seasoning and pour it into a spouted gravy jug.
Now, bake the Yorkshire pudding. Add 2 tbsp of water into the batter and whisk one last time. Pour in the chilled batter into the hot muffin holes and pop it back into the oven. Bake it for 25 minutes and do not open the oven. While that is happening, plate up your chicken on a large serving plate and pop the roasted vegetable on the serving plate too along with the jug of gravy. Let the serving plate keep warm in a warm spot. My favourite spot is to place the whole serving plate on my stove top because I am not using the stove now and my oven right beneath the stove and it is giving it enough heat to just keep my food warm. This is a great time to do all the dishes that have been piling up in the sink!
When time is up, quickly drain off the fat and flip the Yorkshire pudding over so the bottom is up and pop it back into the oven for a few minutes to crisp it up. I used a 12 hole muffin tray because that was what I have in hand. I flipped the Yorkshire pudding onto another ungreased muffin hole. and continue baking. I never actually remove the muffin tray from the oven. I bent down, open the oven door, pull it out, pour batter in, push it in and close the oven door. Same goes to flipping and I believe this helps in achieving puffy and crispy-on-the-outside pudding. It's cold nowadays and the big temperature difference would definitely sink my pudding!
It was a great Sunday Roast and a great Sunday lunch. If I have friends over, I would have served them stuffs like that too. A little more work but when you're cooking for many, it's easy. Let the oven do the job. And it's great on cold, chilly winter nights where you might wanna crank up the oven just to keep warm.