Roast Dinner by Steve James

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Personal chef Steve James lifts the British national
dish to new heights. This is a roast with the most…

While the roast is a year-round staple on these isles, if ever there was a month
that needed such a comforting, familiar dish, it would be cold, wet January. There’s
nothing better to enjoy with friends and family that a great roast dinner with some
interesting sides. It’s not the nation’s favourite by accident.
Personal chef and caterer Steve James is happy to oblige. And not just with this
recipe. You can hire him to come to your house and cook it for you while you relax.
Just the thing if Christmas catering has taken it out of you or you want to enjoy some
inspired cheffy touches like his herby garlic butter and roast potatoes so good they
might even put your mum’s in the shade.

Method

To make the brine:

mix the water, brown sugar, salt, bay leaf,
rosemary and peppercorns in a large container and stir until the
sugar and salt has dissolved. Once the water has cooled place the
chicken in the brine and leave overnight in the fridge.

Prepare your accompaniments.

Peel the carrots and the beetroot
and chop all into large chunky pieces ready for roasting. Place in a
roasting tray and add a good pinch of salt and pepper and strip the
leaves off the thyme and mix all together well.

Make the herby garlic butter

by grating the garlic clove, finely
chopping the parsley and mixing with the butter. Roll up in some
cling film like a log ( this will freeze well in portions for future use).

To make the stuffing:

finely chop the two onions and fry with a
little oil until soft and golden. Blitz the nuts in a food processor until
roughly chopped. Finely chop the sage and add to the nuts with
breadcrumbs, butter, a large pinch of salt, pepper and the egg until
combined and then mix through the stuffing mix.

Potatoes:

peel and chop and boil in salted water for about ten
minutes until a knife easily slides in. Drain and leave in the colander
until all the steam has gone. Tip back into the saucepan and put a lid
on top and shake to create a rough crumbed texture on the outside.

Roasting the chicken:

after it has brined overnight, place on a
roasting tray, leave in the fridge for a couple of hours for the skin
to dry out, making sure to take out of the fridge to come to room
temperature at least one hour before cooking. Preheat the oven to
200°c Fan. Chop the onion into 8 wedges and place the chicken
in a new roasting tin on top of the onion. Season the flour with salt
and pepper and rub all over the chicken breast. Brush the chicken
breasts with a beaten egg and then press the stuffing mix over
the chicken breasts till well coated. Place in the oven for 1 hour 10
minutes or until juices run clear then remove from the tray and cover
with foil to rest. Add the duck fat to a roasting tray and place on top
of the hob till melted. Tip the potatoes into the oil, season with salt
and pepper and toss. Place in the oven with the roasted carrots
and beetroot for 1 hour.

Make your gravy.

Place the roasting tray over a hob with all the
juices and onions from cooking the chicken. Add a couple of
tablespoons of plain flour and stir until incorporated. Make sure you
cook out the flour for a minute or two. Add 600ml boiling water and
stir through. Pass through a fine sieve and keep warm.
Five minutes before serving, add a good splash of red wine vinegar
to the roasting carrots and beetroot. Blanch all the greens in boiling
salted water for a few minutes. Serve everything at the table with
the garlic herb butter over the greens and tarragon over the roast
potatoes.

 

Stuffing Crusted Chicken with Thyme Roasted Root Veg, Greens and Crispy
Tarragon Roast Potatoes. (Makes enough for 5 with leftovers for bubble and squeak).

Chicken
2kg whole chicken
4.5l (1 gallon) warm water
½ cup salt
2/3 cups brown sugar
Bay leaf
Sprig of rosemary
1 tbsp peppercorn
2 eggs
100g flour + 2 tbsp for the
gravy
Salt and pepper for
seasoning
1 onion

Stuffing crust
2 large onions
15 sage leaves
125g of breadcrumbs
40g butter
Salt and pepper
75g chestnuts
75g macadamia nuts
1 egg

Mixed greens with
herby garlic butter
100g butter at room
temperature
1 clove of garlic
Parsley
A mixture of your
favourite green
vegetables (peas,
spinach, kale,
chard etc.)
Salt
Pepper

Roasted carrots
and beetroots
1kg carrots
1kg beetroot
Rapeseed oil
A few sprigs of thyme
Salt and pepper
A good splash of red
wine vinegar

Roast potatoes
1kg Maris Piper
potatoes
Few sprigs of tarragon
Salt
Pepper
100g duck fat

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