One £10 Chicken, Three Meals – Part One
Sunday Roast with Butternut Squash Anna
Doing the weekly shop has become significantly more expensive and sometimes I almost feel forced to purchase meat that has been reared against my principles and beliefs. Take chicken for example you can easily purchase chicken products that have been produced in the Far East without knowing its origins. However, it should be in the small print on the label, but who has the time to read the labels especially if there is a time constraint, such as car parking. Enough ranting from me now and lets get on with some serious chicken things.
Today I challenged myself to purchase one whole £10 free range UK chicken weighing about 2kg and to make as many dishes as I could for the two of us.
I know it’s going to be easy as I do this for a living, however the challenge would be on us to eat chicken three days in a row. It’s perfectly safe to keep raw or cooked chicken for up to five days in your domestic fridge providing the temperature is correct between 1°C – 4°C. Always store cooked and raw chicken separately in clean air tight containers. The cooked meat must always be kept higher in the fridge whilst the raw version should be as low as possible. Even better if you can freeze the meat on day of purchase. When cooking chicken it must be cooked above 74°C core temperature.
As I had the chicken on the chopping board thinking about my challeng, a million and one ideas came into my head, but I wanted to be sensible as I only had a limited amount of other ingredients in my store cupboard and fridge and did not want to make the challenge unrealistic. So the plan developed as follows, I removed the legs from the crown, removed the wing tips and the undercarriage and removed any bits of liver and unpleasant bits, the three dishes started to take shape.
The first meal occasion was a Sunday roast. I used the chicken breast on the bone (called a crown) so that the flavour is locked in. Once the chicken was part roasted I took the breast off the bone, removed the inner fillets and poached the breast in chicken stock. This maintains the cooking process and ensures the breast meat remains moist. I removed the inner fillets and as this was a large bird the breast was big enough to serve 3 people. The inner fillets will appear later in another recipe. This sounds complicated however it’s not at all, as it allowed me to prepare everything in advance earlier in the day. So when we were ready for our dinner at about 7pm I popped the breast in the stock in the oven to finish the dish off. I served our Sunday roast with butternut squash Anna, chantenay carrots and purple sprouting broccoli.
Read part two to see what I have done with the chicken legs when Mr.P announced he had invited the neighbours in for dinner….so much for dinner for two!
Roasted Then Poached Chicken Crown
- One chicken crown for a 2kg free range corn fed chicken
- 300ml white chicken stock
- 1tbs sunflower oil
- 1tbs unsalted butter
- Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- one large sprig of fresh thyme
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Season the chicken generously all over.
Heat a large frying pan with the oil and brown the chicken crown, skin side down, until golden brown place the crown on a roasting tray in the oven for 15 minutes. Remember the chicken will be partly cooked and not all the way through, this is not a error.
Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before removing the breast meat from the bone, keep the bone to make a stock.
Place the two breasts flesh side down into a deep enough oven tray or casserole dish to hold the stock.
Bring the stock to the boil and pour the hot stock around the chicken to just cover the surface of the tray but not covering the skin of the chicken, add the sprig of thyme.
Return the chicken to the preheated oven at 200°C for 18 - 20 minutes, ensure that the chicken is hot all the way through. Serve with the butternut squash Anna, chantenay carrots and purple sprouting broccoli.
Butternut Squash Anna
- 400g butternut squash, use the long solid side of the squash this is about half a large butternut
- 100g unsalted butter
- Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Cook in the same preheated oven at 200°C as for the chicken, place four 6.5cm dariole moulds on a baking tray. Make the Anna in advance and preheat when you are ready to serve.
Peel the squash and use a mandolin to finely slice the squash into about 2mm thick slices and use a 4cm round cutter to cut the squash into disks. Keep the trimmings to make a butternut squash puree for another dish or a soup base.
Heat the butter until it starts to bubble, remove from the heat and mix the squash disks with the melted butter and seasoning.
Pour a teaspoon of the melted butter into each mould and then divide the butternut disks between the four moulds, cover with the remaining melted butter.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, let the Anna's cool in the moulds in the butter.
When you are ready to serve, heat the Anna's in the oven, carefully turn them out, drain the excess butter and serve.
Food Fanatics Tips
Traditionally Anna's are made with potatoes. Anna means wafer thin slices of potato cooked in butter. I have chosen butternut for this recipe, remember butternut cooks faster than potatoes so adjust the cooking time if you use potatoes or celeriac. Turnips, swede and carrots will also be a lovely alternative.