Sundays throughout Autumn and Winter are for roast dinners in our house… It’s a really great time to come together as a family and the kids love the array of food on offer. It means they eat well because they have control over their portions and food choices, albeit vegetables are compulsory! But then aside from the meat it mainly is vegetables, in one form or another… We usually buy a chicken, it’s down to me, I just don’t enjoy very rich red meat, and it’s always free-range & organic. We are so detached from the process of food production on the whole, but I have an underlying sense of responsibility for the quality of life the animal has lived. Plus, I just don’t fancy eating the antibiotics & hormones pumped in to the non-organic farmed birds. It’s seems cruel and it’s certainly has no health benefits for me, in fact probably quite the opposite. So, with our organic chicken ready for the roast, this week I fancied something a little different, and went with a Harissa Roast Chicken, and served it up with Celeriac Rostis, Roast Chickpea & spinach salad & an obligatory Cauliflower cheese…. A mishmash Roast which pleased everyone!
Ingredients for the Harissa Paste:
3 cloves garlic
1 red pepper
1 red chilli
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp maple syrup
zest & juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 can chopped tomatoes
1. In a pan heat 2tbsp olive oil and soften the pepper, garlic, & chilli.
2. Add the paprika, salt & pepper, 1 tsp maple syrup and stir for a few minutes or until the pepper is soft.
3. Add to a blender with 1/2 can chopped tomatoes & the lemon and blend to a smooth paste.
4. Put your chicken in a roasting tin and cover with the paste, adding another tablespoon olive oil so the meat is covered completely.
5. Stuff the chicken with the remains of the lemon.
6. Cover with foil and Roast according to weight, which is usually 45 minutes per KG plus 20 minutes. But check the packaging.
7. About 40 minutes from being finished, remove the foil so the chicken skin can brown.
8. When cooked through allow to rest for 10 minutes and serve.
Warming Winter Bone Broth
There is literally nothing better for our bodies at this time of year than bone broth. And the most wonderful thing, is that it can be put together from the carcass of your Sunday Roast and tap water. There’s nothing to it, and the health benefits are endless. Read some impressive research here.
1. Break the carcass down, along with any remaining meat on the bone (if there is any), skin and vegetables used to stuff.
2. Cover the carcass with water. I used the water that the vegetables had been steamed in, but tap water is fine.
3. Bring to the boil and simmer for at least 1 hour. Actually, timing is perfect after a roast because I usually put the stock on and get the kids ready for bed, and settled before returning to it.
4. The point is that we’re trying to extract the goodness such as collagen, keratin, minerals and vitamins from the bones so the longer they’re simmered the better. Some recipes will recommend anywhere from 3-24 hours, but I know an hour is enough to get a collagen rich bone broth.
5. Drain the liquid from the carcass into a jug, bowl or tub that can be stored in the fridge. Allow the broth to cool completely and place in the fridge. I usually use this within a day but it can last several days if stored well in the fridge. It will turn to a lovely jelly rich in collagen, vitamins & minerals… This can be heated and added to soups, stews & risotto!
You will certainly feel the effects in the skin this time of year… a rich bone broth based meal will certainly soften and enrich the skin, but also sooth the gut…