It’s hard to beat a good roast chicken dinner; mashed potatoes, or roasted potatoes and some veg. With our sage looking so gorgeous I simply can’t resist doing a chicken dinner. I like to chop the sage quite fine and mix it with soft butter, reach my hand under the skin and rub the sage butter in. I roast my chicken whole, put it in a hot over around 400 F for 5 to 10 minutes. When the chicken fat starts to shine up the bird, I sprinkle it with salt and pepper, often using the Eatwell Farm Lemon Salt. Turn the temp down to 325 F and roast until a thermometer says the bird is ready. Mostly I use the poke and look method to see that the juice is running clear. I like to add sliced onion and add several cloves of garlic to the roasting pan along with some white wine and some Eatwell Farm Chicken Stock. I do this at the point of salting and turn the temp down. When the chicken is done, take it out of the oven and let it sit for a few minutes before carving. Save all the pan juices for the gravy.
We (especially me) love mashed potatoes. Nigel likes his with the skins on and I like them without, but our young potatoes are so good at this time I go with his version. We like lots, and I mean lots, of butter and cream and good salt. I wash the potatoes really well, cut them into at least quarters or smaller if the potatoes are larger, and simmer. You can peel and cook your turnips right with them; they add a lovely tang. I like to cook them slowly rather than a hard fast boil (in well salted water) so they don’t get too watery. When they are tender I drain them but leave a little bit of the potato water in the pot. With the lid on I give them a good shake, not sure why I do this, I was told to a long time ago. Does anyone know why? Add the butter and milk or cream (best if you warm it first) and mash it really well.
I make a very simple gravy with the pan juices, I usually pour it all into a pot and with my immersion blender I puree the whole thing. I thicken with a little cornstarch* if I need to, but usually just add some sour cream, salt and pepper. Fast, easy and delicious.
*If you have never used cornstarch it is important to know that you never add it to a hot liquid, always use something cold, like wine or cold water. Start with 1 TB in a glass and pour in a little wine and mix it with a fork to a smooth paste, add a little more liquid until it is pourable.
Now that Summer Squash is here you can roast them in the oven on a baking dish or grill pan for a few minutes right after you take the chicken out. Slice them up rather thin, (the thinner they are the quicker they roast) drizzle or brush with olive oil, sprinkle on some of your favorite Eatwell Farm Salt, turn the oven back up to 425F and slide them in there. Check them in a couple of minutes and turn them over. Roast until they are done to your liking.