Summer is getting roasty toasty

Sunshine and toes

There’s no reason why you can’t enjoy a good Sunday roast throughout the summer months. You just need to swap your Yorkshire puddings and bread sauce for some crunchy salad leaves and a light gravy and you’re good to go.

Last weekend Mr F&P whipped up an awesome summer roast – it was just what I felt like after a busy weekend in Glasgow, and it fed us for a few days to follow too.

roast chicken side view

Just look at that incredible crispy skin!

roast chicken birds-eye view

He cooked up this impressive chicken with lots of butter, garlic, fresh rosemary & lemon. Mix a good dollop of butter, some crushed garlic, chopped rosemary and lemon juice together in a bowl, and brush over your bird. Don’t be stingy either, get it all on there, you don’t want your chicken to dry out in the oven. I like the skin to go really, really crispy and rubbing a good amount of salt on the chicken skin first will help you get there.

Look out a decent roasting dish and place your chicken on top of a bed of onions, chopped into quarters, and whatever else you’d like to roast – we had some carrots on the go with ours, but sweet peppers would be equally delicious. Remember to brush your veggies with a tiny bit of olive oil first.

How long you cook the chicken depends on the weight. This roast timer on the BBC website will give you all the timings and temperatures you need.

Next up, my favourite part, the roast potatoes. These are so easy to do. Just cover the potatoes in a good glug of quality olive oil and sprinkle plenty of rock salt over them, then pop them in the oven for 40-50mins. A little side note on oil – I can always find this olive oil in my nearest supermarket, and it’s great on salads or to cook with.  It’s worth remembering there are so many great, independent producers around these days, like Summer Harvest Oils, from Perthshire, who do a variety of rapeseed oils and dressings.

roast potatoes

Let’s get a close up of a few of those little pots…

roast potatoes close up

When your chicken is done and the potatoes are ready, simply serve with some fresh salad leaves and whatever else you fancy. I’m a bit obsessed with avocado at the moment, so that features in a lot of my salads dishes these days, but some ripe tomatoes, lettuce and cucumber did a fine job last weekend.  Fingers crossed it’s sunny and set up camp outside, sip on a chilled glass of vino blanco and tuck in! The juices in the bottom of the roasting dish make a lovely light gravy to go over the chicken, and don’t forget to get plenty of that yummy, crispy skin…

roast chicken plate

roast chicken plate 2

Oohhh look at those delicious roasted onions and that crispy, garlicky, crunchy skin…

roast chicken crispy skin

The big bonus? Make this on a Sunday and you can enjoy some amazing chicken salads and for the next few days at work, making all your colleagues super envious and looking totally together and healthy at work. It’s rare for me, but being that organised on a Monday feels amazing, try it for yourselves!

 

Honey, Garlic and Chilli Chicken Salad

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This chicken salad is really quick and easy to pull together, and it’s got lots of colour and flavour. Adding brown rice means it’s nice and filling for supper time too.

(FOR 2) Add your brown rice to a pan with water and cook for 20mins, lid on. I measured about one small, heaped handful of rice per person.

Then start by mixing up the dressing in  which the chicken will be cooked. Mix together a couple glugs of olive oil, a good squeeze of clear, runny honey, half a teaspoon of mustard powder and a splash of soy sauce. Pour the dressing over your chicken strips, leaving a little bit of dressing in the jar, and making sure the chicken strips completely coated. Then add the chicken to a pan or wok on a high heat. After a few minutes add one clove of garlic and one red chilli, both roughly chopped, to your pan. Turn the heat down and allow to cook for a further 15 mins.

Whilst that’s cooking away prepare your salad bowls with a layer of mixed lettuce leaves, cucumber and cherry tomatoes. Then you can really add any salad items you like – I added avocado, sweetcorn and carrot shavings.

Once the chicken had cooked through and the rice is ready, plate up! Rice first then layer chicken on top. Make sure you pour over any excess dressing you left in the jar. Finally, I added a few herbs on top, parsley just because I had it to hand.

A quick and healthy spring salad that you can alter easily depending on what’s in the fridge. Enjoy!