Sunday signifies late mornings in pyjamas, bacon sandwiches at lunchtime, a walk to the pub if we are lucky and a tasty Sunday Roast for tea. I was raised in Yorkshire where you had a Yorkshire Pudding for starters, and the table would be full to bursting of people and food. It is a food based tradition that I have gleefully carried into the South and into my own family. The smells that float from the kitchen make the kid’s stomach rumble, and it is the one day of the week where we ensure we sit round the table and share the tales of the week.
This week we had a treat, I am not known for being adventurous in the kitchen, however, because of The Sunday Times, I have ignored my traditional roast rules and followed a recipe from The Sunday Times Ultimate Cookbook.
From this coming Sunday, The Sunday Times are publishing an Ultimate Cookbook. A four part series that collates a rich mixture of the best recipes from some of the finest chefs and eating establishments around. I am welcoming into my kitchen the skills of Gordon Ramsay, Rick Stein and Heston Blumenthal, to name but a few.
Over the next four weeks, we will be having a sneak preview of some of the recipes that will be featuring in the Ultimate Cookbook and sampling one at home each week, letting you know how easy it is to make and of course, what it tastes like.
This week, The Sunday Times are rolling out the ultimate Sunday Lunch and will feature a mouth-watering roast steak from Jamie Oliver, designed to ensure you salivate over the scent coming from the oven. You can also learn the secret behind Heston Blumenthal’s triple cooked chips and wash it all down with a Hix Fix, a cocktail that is normally found lingering on the bar on the Ivy.
As we are all sitting down together, and the kid’s palates don’t quite stretch to Hix Fix as yet; we are testing and tasting Simon Hopkinson’s Roast Chicken supreme. It only takes ten minutes to prepare, which is ideal for our hectic lifestyle (and gave us more time in the pub before lunch) and is ready on the table in an hour and a half.
The recipe serves 2-3 adults, but we managed to stretch it to 2 adults and 3 small mouths by adding some serious vegetables and scrumptious Yorkshire Puddings.
Preparing the meal was simple; I coated the chicken in butter, using my hands to smear it gently into the skin. Then I placed the bird into a large roasting tin which allowed additional space for the gravy to grow. I coated the chicken with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and squeezed the lemon over the top.
The garlic was chopped and crushed, then placed into the cavity with the herbs and squeezed out lemony halves.
Following Hopkinson’s instructions to the tee, I placed the chicken in a pre heated oven at 230C and left for 15 minutes, I then removed, basted, turned the over down to 190C and left it for a further 45 minutes, basting twice more to prevent any drying out.
When the cooking time was up, I opened the door to the oven and left the chicken to rest for 15 minutes before carving. This is proven to retain excess juices in the meat as it remains in a warm environment and still in the roasting tin – increasing the moistness.
Then I carved, added vegetables and my favourite Yorkshire Puddings and called the kids to the table for the taste test.
I had to snap the photo quick before the plates were cleared with speed. Empty plates speak volumes in this house and are always taken as a compliment to the chef!
The chicken was succulent, smooth and delicious. A dream to carve and it smelt divine. The lemon sensation was left lingering on the palate and everyone asked for more.
The Ultimate Sunday Times Cookbook
Get your copy of The Sunday Times Ultimate Cookbook: Sunday Lunch this weekend, the first in a four-part series. Featuring a selection of the finest recipes of the celebrity chef era, the Ultimate cookbook is part of The Incredible Edibles Food Series dedicated to Food and dining.
Upcoming editions in the series are Quick Eats on Sunday November 24, Brunch & Baking on Sunday December 1 and Dinner Party on Sunday December 8.
Visit thesundaytimes.co.uk to subscribe and find out more details about exclusive Times+ chef events, hosted at some of the country’s best restaurants.
Disclosure: We were approached and commission by The Sunday Times to write about our experiences of the Ultimate Cookbook, all images, opinions, and chickens remain my own.