Short-cut roast chicken with gravy – a gift from the goddess of love

Anyone who is in a tearing hurry, or is not keen on endless slaving at the kitchen stove, or is perennially lazy; or, like me, all three of those, will view a short cut way of roasting chicken as a gift of love.

And this method really is a gift of love. It comes from Aphrodite, a very appropriately named lady, via Skye McA;pine’s also appropriately titled A Table Full of Love.

Short-cut roast chicken… a gift from the goddess of love…

It gets hoovered up, every scrap, with unanimous enthusiasm; and it really does require minimum effort.

Essentially it’s a chicken with a fork-pricked lemon placed inside, atop a bed of thinly sliced potatoes, which is roasted… couldn’t be simpler.

But alas, when I first tried this, the Chief Taster immediately pointed out two seemingly insurmountable flaws.

Replacing the roasties

First was the impossibility of replacing roast potatoes with any other type of potato.

There’s no doubt that roast potato enthusiasm is almost a kind of religion. Its followers all have their own way of worship – some swear by dustings of semolina, others by Marmite. There’s a schism over the optimum fat. But all agree that a roast anything minus roast potatoes is a mere shadow.

Alleluia though! These gunky, some-caramelised, some-soft potatoes, anointed with the juices from the chicken as well as a generous slosh of dry vermouth, are able to overcome even the most ingrained of prejudices and beliefs. The method for cooking them is loosely modelled on Potatoes à la Lyonnaise, so a few touches of onion in addition to the garlic don’t go amiss – you can snip in some spring onions, or chives, or even nigella seeds to achieve this.

Making way for the gravy

The second problem is also relatively easily solved – simply take the offending potatoes out and keep them hot on one of the plates you’re warming. Also, roast the chickens in a rectangular roasting tin (not a round one as McAlpine does) because it’s much easier to make gravy in a rectangular tin… it can be rounded at the corners.

This slightly rounded rectangular tin is a perfect shape for making gravy… you can scrape/deglaze, tipping, into a corner.

Another short cut regarding the green vegetable

And then, if you are being particularly slutty you can add some frozen peas to the roast about ten minutes before you take out the roast.

You can prepare this up to four hours before you begin roasting.

Goes well with a Titanic salad. And/or a tomato and coriander salad; or tomatoes Pomiane.

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