My meals are planned around two major things: 1) what is on offer on the Ocado and 2) what vegetables are available from the garden (or in season). I'm a bargain hunter and can't resist a good deal - and a good deal is not necessarily the cheapest thing, but something of quality for a good price. This week just gone Ocado had free range chickens and chopped chorizo on offer, so of course both items were purchased. (I know I could most likely get a whole chorizo sausage for cheaper even with the offer on, but sometimes it is handy to have some chorizo in small quantities, especially if there are only two of you.)
There were a few carrots not yet dug up in the garden and my leeks are starting to get to a decent size.
I couldn't be bothered with the faff of a regular roast last night (nor all the washing up), so I decided to go for a pot roast instead. What better meal to have on the Autumn equinox? Taking inspiration from my favourite pot roast recipe (Nigel Slater's Pot Roast Guinea Fowl with Sausage and Apple), I came up with the following and it was pretty delicious.
60g chorizo, chopped
1 large onion, roughly chopped into chunks
1 large leek, roughly chopped into chunks
2 - 3 large carrots, roughly chopped into chunks
2 medium potatoes, chopped into chunks
1 small chicken, about 1 - 1.3kg (mine was 1.1 kg)
100ml dry white wine
2 bay leaves
1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C.
2. Meanwhile, place a large casserole dish over a low-medium heat. Add the chorizo and cook for a few minutes until it starts to release its oil. Add the onion, leek and carrots and cook for about 5 minutes more until the veg starts to get a little soft.
3. Move the veg to the side, up the heat a little, and brown the chicken on all sides (I use a couple of big spoons to turn the chicken over when in the pot - this is probably not the official method, but it works for me).
4. Add the wine and the bay leaves and let simmer for a minute or two.
5. Put a lid on the casserole and put the pot in the oven. Cooking time will depend on the size of the chicken - I cooked my 1.1kg chicken for 1 hour and 5 minutes (plus 10 minutes browning on the hob). Check the packet of the chicken as a guide, or allow 45 minutes cooking time per kg, plus an extra 20 minutes.
6. At the end of cooking, check the chicken is done by inserting a skewer into the thigh - if the juices run clear, it is done. If the juices are not clear, whack the bird back in the oven.
7. The result should be a nicely cooked chicken and a big gooey mess at the bottom. The gooey mess is normal. This is pure concentrated flavour. (You could always check during cooking if you need to add a bit more liquid.)
8. After leaving the chicken to rest for 10 minutes (or 2 minutes if you're hungry), remove it from the pot and carve. And then serve with vegetables and the gooey mess.