Thursday, August 02, 2007

Pot Roasted Chicken with sweet and sour sauce



1X2kg/4.5lb chicken, preferably organic
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
4 thumb size pieces of fresh ginger, grated with skin left on
2 red peppers, halved and de-seeded
2 yellow peppers, halved and deseeded
4 red onions, peeled
2 fresh chillies, snapped in half
1 ripe pineapple, peeled, quartered and chopped
1tsp fennel seeds, crushed
Olive oil
2tbsp sugar
6tbsp balsamic vinegar

Preheat to 190c/375f
Season your chicken generously inside and out and stuff the cavity with the mixed parsley and ginger. Cut your peppers and red onions into quarters and put them into a cold casserole pan. Add the chilli, pineapple, and crushed fennel seeds. Drizzle with three good lugs of olive oil, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, and toss until well coated. Place your chicken on top, pat it with a little oil and cook in the middle of the preheated oven for 1.5 hours. The chicken is ready when the bones can be easily pulled out of the thighs.

Once cooked, drain the chicken juices over the pan, remove the chicken to a plate with half the vegetables and pineapple, and allow to rest for 5 minutes while you make your sauce. Put the remaining vegetables and pineapple from the pan into the food processor, with the sugar and balsamic vinegar and correct the seasoning with a little salt. Blend to make a lovely sauce – add a little boiling water to loosen and thin out if need be. You could pass it through a coarse sieve to make it even smoother, but I don’t. Season to taste.
Serve with some stir fried noodles, or some steamed or boiled rice.

So you know the sweet and sour chicken that you get at the Chinese take away? It’s florescent, and so totally unnatural that you have to stare, and yet, it’s kind of tasty. Imagine if you could have a version of that, without the day-glow, and all made out of healthy food. That’s what this is. It really tastes so similar, I couldn’t get over it, though it looks completely different.

This is also super easy to make as you just throw everything in a tray, and put it in the oven.

It was a little more complicated for me because I got a chicken that was much bigger, and I was afraid the vegetables would get burned if I left them in longer (I think they would have). To make it work, I prepared the chicken and put it in a small pan, covered it and baked it for 40 minutes, while it was cooking I got all the vegetables ready. At the end of the 40 minutes, fast as I could (because you don’t want it to cool down at all) I took the part cooked chicken out of it’s little pan and proceeded as normal. It worked fine, chicken was done, veg were not burned.

This was a Jamie Oliver recipe, and it went over really well. We loved it, and so did our guests.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is one of my favourite recipes. I've loved it since the first time I made it. Almost fool-proof too (except for potentially over-cooking the veggies because of a large bird).

Delicious and healthy!

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