and two vegetables
Maeve hates sprouts
Mam doesn’t like carrots
David likes carrots…so does Oisín
Dad loves mashed cauliflower
If it’s food Oliver will eat it
Áine’s not fussy, neither is Fiona
and I don’t think I’ve seen Gina eat a vegetable…even though she’s a vegetarian
Good music: The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, U2 or maybe The Beatles, a compilation on shuffle works well.
Two hours: You may get the actual cooking done in1 hour but need 2 hours to get everything else done.
Wine: Chilled bottle of white wine, Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay. Red wine, Merlot or Malbec.
Take out all the pots you have-all different sizes, and two frying pans and leave them all on top of the cooker.
Pour out a glass of white wine for yourself and take a sip, turn on the music and sing while you cook. Refresh your wine and change the music as necessary.
Enough to go inside the chicken,Enough for the tomatoes,
Enough to make some in a dish,
and then another big pile of it if Maeve is eating.
let them taste,
let them stir,
then give them a glass of red wine, tell them it will be ready soon and send them into the sitting room to watch TV.
If you have a lot of people you may need more than one bottle of red wine.
Failing that, take it out of the wrapping and take off the funny elastic string thingy. Look inside it and take out the extra flap of fat and MAKE SURE there isn’t a plastic bag of giblets still inside.
If you want you can cut out the wishbone, it makes it easier to carve. Put the stuffing inside, don’t pack it too tight you want some hot air to circulate in there to cook it through. Put the stuffed chicken into an oven dish UPSIDE DOWN…it is best to cook the bottom first. Put it into a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees, it will take about an hour to cook.
Clean down the counter.
Go to the loo.
and then it’s time for another glass of wine and maybe a 5 minute sit down.
Peel the potatoes and put into a big pot. When you think you have enough add lots more. If Oisín is eating with you it’s best just to double the amount. Cut them so they are all even sized, rinse and cover with cold water. Add some sea salt, cover and bring to the boil.
This is simple, if it grows in the ground start cooking in cold water, if it grows above ground start cooking in boiling water. Don’t ever put a lid on green vegetables it makes them go a yucky grey colour. Only ever add salt to potatoes to cook.
Get a big frying pan and add some goose or duck fat or some olive oil with a knob of butter. Add some chopped garlic, put in the potatoes and toss around until covered in the fat. Place on a roasting dish and sprinkle with smoked paprika or dried mixed herbs, whichever you like best. Put into oven to roast. Check a few times and turn around a bit and baste in the oil. They should be crispy in about 30 minutes.
Carrots: Cut off the top and bottom, I don’t bother to peel them. Cut in half lengthwise and cut into chunks about 3cm long, then cut each chunk into two diagonally, they will look like mini carrots. Put into pot, cover with boiling water, bring back to boil and then simmer about 15 minutes.
The carrot top and bottoms can be used for stock, or let the children grow the tops in a saucer of water. Don’t keep the sprout peelings for stock, and the hens won’t eat them either…so it’s the pigs or compost heap. Watch out of Dad comes in as he will eat all the raw carrots.
Put the stuffing and tomatoes into the oven, check the roast potatoes and baste.
The boiled potatoes should now be done, drain and leave to dry for a minute or two. Mash with a knob of butter, a splash of milk and some salt and pepper. Keep warm somewhere. For a different mash use some olive oil and some minced garlic…or some grated cheese…or scallions…or parsley. Or what I like to add is a raw egg and stir well.