Monday, 22 March 2010

Love and Hate on a Plate

Ok, I have to get something off my chest. It has nothing to do with this recipe and will probably be considered rather mean-spirited (I have come back and edited out the worst bits.) but here it is.
I would like to feed those 4 Ingredients women into a wood chipper. Slowly. Feet First.
(I'd be wearing earplugs)
If you've ever seen their show, you'll know why.
I can't say much more without sounding like a totally stuck up bitch (which I kinda am) so I'll just say this- Peanut butter and jam sandwiches or chicken tenders rolled in crushed cornflakes, then baked to dry obscurity do not a cookbook or TV show make. Get off my TV.

Ok, enough of that, back to why I'm here- The food.
Tonight we had a simple roast chicken with what I can only describe as creamed Brussels sprouts.
The guys were converted from sprouts haters to sprout fans with this way of cooking them, although it could be argued that if you cook just about anything with cream and garlic it will be well-received.

Roast Chicken With Creamed Brussels Sprouts
Serves 6, 20 minutes work, 90 minutes total

1 1.8kg (2lb) free range chicken
2 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic
1 lemon
(Ooh! Four ingredients! (Salt and pepper don't count toward the total apparently)

500g (1 lb) Brussels sprouts
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp pommery grain mustard
200ml double cream (heavy whipping cream)
2 shallots, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 sprigs fresh tarragon, leaves picked and chopped

Turn your oven to 190C (375F) and put your chicken breast-side up in a roasting tin and rub all over liberally with olive oil. Halve a lemon and squeeze the juice all over the chicken, using the spent halves to rub the juice into the skin, then toss them into the cavity with the garlic cloves.
truss the legs and sprinkle all over liberally with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Pop in the oven on a low shelf and roast for 65-80 minutes, depending on the exact size of your chicken. To check for doneness, pierce the thickest part of the leg with a sharp knife. If the juices run clear, it's cooked.
When the chicken is done, remove from the oven and cover with a piece of foil, leaving the chicken to rest for 15 minutes before carving.

For the Brussels sprouts:

Remove the dodgy looking, spotty outer leaves and trim the stalks from the sprouts and cut them in half.
Bring a pan of salted water to a boil, then blanch the sprouts for three minutes.
Drain immediately and plunge them into a bowl of iced water to stop the cooking.

In a sautee pan, melt the butter and add the shallots and garlic. Cook over a medium heat, taking care to not let the onion or garlic brown, you want them soft and translucent. Stir in the mustards well and cook for a further minute or so before pouring in the cream.
Simmer this lot for a minute before adding the sprouts to the mix. Cook for a further minute before adding the tarragon, then finish cooking for 2-3 more minutes to finish. The sprouts should still be a lively green and resist the tip of a knife ever so slightly when inserted all the way through.

I served the chicken on a bed of sweet potato puree* this time with the sprouts on the side. The extra creamy sauce gets spooned over the chicken.

I had to unbutton my jeans.

* For the sweet potato puree:
Peel some sweet potatoes and cut into large chunks. Immediately after peeling/cutting, put them into a pan of water with lemon juice in to prevent black spots.
Boil until tender, then drain and put into a bowl. Add a knob of butter, a few rasps of a nutmeg, some sea salt and white pepper. Use a stick blender to puree the potatoes to a velvety smooth puree.
Roast Spring Chicken on FoodistaRoast Spring Chicken

Brussels Sprouts on FoodistaBrussels Sprouts


  1. I LOVE brussels sprouts! Added to this weeks menu!

  2. I also have a few people on T.V. that I just want to go away! So you may not be as stuck up as you think (smile)-some shows are just lame...
    Oh, and I love brussel sprouts. I am going to try them this way with the garlic and cream next time I can find some nice pretty ones at the market.

  3. I was going to mention semi-homemade cooking with sandra lee...that show scares me! You can have simple, delicious recipes with whole foods, not frankenstein foods.

    I have recently developed a love affair with brussels sprouts...I like the look of this recipe :)