My mother loves feeding people. Everyone on this planet has their thing, and feeding people is my mother’s. Whether she makes you your favorite dinner when you’ve had a bad day at school, or a extra delicious dessert because a boy broke your heart she’s seriously got the whole cooking thing down pat. Because of this I never make Christmas dinner. My mother has got turkey dinner down to the perfect science, and ain’t nobody trying to mess with perfection.
However, I do like to host a Christmas potluck at my place for the guys and gals from my dance classes. When you see people about 5 times a week for about 5 years you tend to get pretty close pretty quick. I love my dancers, and I think getting together at the end of the dance semester, and before everyone takes off for the holidays is just seriously what everyone needs.
Each year we rotate who hosts, and the rules are whoever hosts makes the turkey. It just makes sense not to lug it around all over the city, and I mean for a klutz like me it’s probably for the best. So last year was the first year I hosted Christmas dinner, and also the first time I made a turkey. I’m not going to lie I was STRESSED! I literally googled, and spoke to every person I know about making my turkey.
After the success of my turkey making I kind of felt like a turkey expert, and I could consequently conquer the world with my new found skill. It seemed like such a huge hurdle, but in actually it really wasn’t bad at all. However I am here to tell you that having not roasted anything for the last year I totally needed a little refresher! What’s that saying? If you don’t use it you lose it?
Needless to say I’m pretty sure I’m hosting our Christmas dinner again (I think we haven’t quite figured it all out yet), and so I totally could use the practice. Cue #roastmas! That Jamie Oliver never ceases to inspire me! This holiday season he’s really trying to promote cooking, and eating at home, and what better way than to roast your own turkey dinner. Jamie Oliver’s initiative (in partnership with Sobeys) is to inspire everyone to eat, and cook better, so that we all live happier longer lives. A man after my own heart I couldn’t agree more with this, and as a result I’m totally on board with #roastmas. Jamie suggests doing a trial run with a roast chicken (recipe here) before the big day, and it’s actually a genius idea.
I’m here to tell you that roasting a chicken or a turkey seems A LOT more scary than it actually is! The oven really does a lot of the hard work for you. And I roasted my potatoes, and carrots too, so it was even easier. If you plan it appropriately everything can finish cooking at the perfect time, and everything can be out on the table with ease!
Here’s the Jamie Oliver recipe I used for this DELICIOUSLY easy roast chicken.
Take the chicken out of the fridge about half an hour before you’re ready to cook to come up to room temperature. Pat it dry with paper towels. Drizzle with a good lug of oil, add a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper and rub all over the bird, making sure you get into all the nooks and crannies.
Preheat the oven to full whack, then get started on your stuffing: Peel and finely chop the onions and pick and roughly chop the sage leaves, discarding the stalks. Pour a lug or two of oil into a large frying pan over a medium heat and fry the onion for 10 minutes, or until softened. Add a good pinch of salt and pepper, the ground nutmeg and the chopped sage leaves, then continue to fry for another 1 to 2 minutes. Spoon the onion mixture into a large bowl and let it cool completely. Once cooled, add the ground pork or sausage meat and bread crumbs and use your hands to really scrunch everything together. Press the stuffing mixture into a baking dish.
Halve 1 of the clementines and place in the chicken cavity along with the unpeeled garlic cloves and herbs. Peel and roughly chop the onions, celery and carrots, then place in the bottom of a sturdy roasting pan and lay the chicken on top. Place in the hot oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 350°F (180°C). Cook for 1 ½ hours (45 to 50 minutes per kg), basting every 20 minutes or so. In the last 45 minutes of cooking, place the baking dish with the stuffing in the oven to cook alongside the turkey.
Remove the chicken from the oven and stick a sharp knife into the thigh; if the juices run clear and the meat pulls apart easily, it’s ready. Cover the chicken with aluminum foil and a few clean dish towels to rest while you get your vegetables and gravy ready.
Whether it’s been a while since your last roast, or maybe you’ve never done it I would totally recommend doing a little trial run to save the stress about how it turns out. It’s amazing what confidence can do for a cook! Like I said I felt like I could conquer the world after cooking my first turkey, and even now with this recipe I couldn’t be more proud with how this turn out. I’ve come along way from omelets, and pita pizzas! Major thanks to momma for showing me the ropes.
Happy #Roastmas Everyone!
If you’re proud as a peacock about your roasted chicken success be sure to snap a photo and tag #roastmas I wanna see!
This post was sponsored by Sobeys, but all opinions expressed are my own.