This is not a traditional Sunday roast as my oven is not big enough to fit a whole chicken and all the trimmings in but it is certainly a good hearty British meal that incorporates all the sides we know and love with a bit of a twist.
Opinions are strongly divided when it comes to the perfect British roast.
Beef and horseradish? Pork and apple sauce? Chicken and cranberry? Lamb and mint sauce?
Mashed potatoes? Roast potatoes? Boiled potatoes?
What’s the perfect Yorkshire pudding?
Which vegetables should be served?
What makes the perfect gravy?
Everyone has their favourites and it’s usually their mum’s!
This take on a roast incorporates some of the old favourite sides such as pigs in blankets, stuffing balls and thick beefy gravy with crisp, golden roast potatoes, fresh, steamy greens and perfect homemade Yorkshire puddings. All of this is served with garlic and herb chicken wrapped in bacon and as I’m sure you know, everything is better wrapped in bacon!
What’s even better is that this roast dinner can come together in about 1 hour. No need to spend all day in the kitchen and plenty of time to collapse in a food coma in front of a cheesy afternoon movie after all those trimmings!
Serves 2 generously
For the chicken:
- 2 rashers smoked bacon
- 2 chicken breast fillets
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- Pinch of salt
- 1 Tbsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 20g butter
For the potatoes:
- 4 small potatoes
- Rapeseed oil
For the Yorkshire puddings:
- 1 egg
- 2 heaped Tbsp plain flour
For the stuffing balls:
- 1 sausage
- ½ onion, finely chopped
- 30g dried breadcrumbs
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- A handful fresh parsley, thyme and rosemary, chopped
For the pigs in blankets:
- 1 sausage
- 1 rasher smoked bacon
For the cheat’s gravy:
- 1 heaped Tbsp beef gravy granules (I used Bisto)
- 1 tsp cornflour
- 1 tsp thyme, finely chopped
- Boiling water from the vegetable pot
For the greens:
- A big handful of curly kale
- ½ mug of frozen peas
For the potatoes: Preheat the oven to 200C. Add enough rapeseed oil to a baking pan to just coat the bottom and place it in the oven to heat up. Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and cut in half. Place in a pan of cold water and bring to the boil. Boil for 5-10 minutes until slightly softened but not completely cooked. Drain the potatoes then shake them in the pan so you roughen up the edges slightly. Allow them to steam dry for a couple of minutes. Do not cover with a lid.
Place the potatoes in the tray with the hot oil and shake to coat. Return to the oven and roast for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the chicken and Yorkshire pudding batter.
For the chicken: Butterfly the chicken. Put your chicken breast on a chopping board and, with your hand flat on top of it, use a sharp knife to slice into one side of the breast, starting at the thicker end and ending at the thin point. Be careful not to cut all the way through to the other side. Open out the breast so that it resembles a butterfly. Cover with cling film and pummel with a rolling pin to create an even thickness.
Soften the butter in a small heatproof bowl in the microwave for a few seconds. Add the garlic, parsley and salt and stir to combine. Spread half of the butter mixture on the sliced side of the chicken breast. Roll the chicken breast up and wrap it in a rasher of bacon to secure. Repeat with the remaining chicken breast and place on a foil lined tray. Season and set aside.
Check on the potatoes and give them a turn. Place a 4 whole giant Yorkshire tin in the oven with a little rapeseed oil in each section.
For the stuffing balls and pigs in blankets: Remove the sausage meat from the casing of 1 sausage and mix it together in a bowl with the onion, herbs, breadcrumbs and seasoning. Add a splash of milk to bring the mixture together then shape into four balls and place on a foil lined baking tray.
With the remaining sausage, twist it in half and cut to form two tiny sausages. Cut a rasher of bacon in half and wrap one half around each mini sausage. Place on the same tray as the stuffing balls and place in the oven to cook for 25-30 minutes until cooked through.
For the Yorkshire puddings: Crack the egg into a mixing bowl, add the flour and a splash of milk then stir with a tablespoon until a really thick ‘gloop’ is formed. Add a little milk at a time and beat well between each addition to remove any lumps of flour. Once the lumps have gone, add enough milk to create a loose, pourable batter that is not too runny. Allow it to sit for about 30 minutes.
After about 30 minutes of the potatoes being in the oven, add the chicken to the oven too. The potatoes will need about 1 hour in total and the chicken will need 30 minutes.
Remove the Yorkshire tray from the oven and pour the batter evenly between the four sections. Return to the oven to bake for approximately 25 minutes until golden brown.
Baste the chicken and turn the potatoes again. Note: It is important not to open the oven door straight after the Yorkshire puddings are in there or they will not rise.
For the greens: Add a little water to a pan and bring to the boil. Add the kale for 2 minutes then add the peas for a further 2 minutes.
For the gravy: Unfortunately there are no pan juices from cooking chicken in this way to make a traditional gravy hence the cheat gravy but it is still pretty yummy. Add the granules, cornflour and thyme to a jug. Once the greens are cooked, drain the water into the jug. You just need enough to make a nice thick gravy (approx 300mls). Make sure the vegetables are completely drained even if you don’t need all the water for the gravy. Stir really well.
Divide everything out between two plates with your gravy on the side.
This meal is quite dependent on timing so get ahead by preparing elements such as the Yorkshire pudding batter, chicken and stuffing balls in advance if it helps.
Just to clarify, the timings needed to cook each element are as follows:
Roast potatoes: 50-60 minutes
Chicken: 30-35 minutes
Yorkshire puddings: 25-30 minutes
Pigs in blankets: 25 minutes
Stuffing balls: 25 minutes
Greens: 4 minutes
Gravy: Just add water 😉