Making use of a very large chicken

Back in The Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning I spotted an enormous chicken on the stall on the right hand side as you walk in. The chickens I normally buy for Sunday lunch cost about £8.00. This was almost £17.00 and was the size of a small turkey. The man behind the stall saw me looking at it and suggested I could have it for £15.00. That was too good to resist. Mum & Dad were coming for lunch on Sunday and this would feed us all and as the man said it would keep us in sandwiches for the week.

Midday on Sunday I took it out of the fridge and gave it a rub down with olive oil, salt pepper and paprika and shoved an onion up its backside. I didn’t get round to looking at how much it weighed but reckoned on it needing a good couple of hours to cook.

It was going to be a late lunch so just after 3.00 I put the oven on high and slipped it in. It was cooking fiercely after an hour and I piled up potatoes around it turning them in the fat and lowering the heat.

Five o’clock and one of the legs pulled away easily. I took the bird out of the pan and put it on a large plate to rest covered with a piece of tin foil and a tea-towel.

The oven went back to high and I put the potatoes back in stirring into them some chopped red pepper, red onion and garlic. Fifteen minutes later the potatoes had started to crisp up and the peppers were soft. I piled them around the chicken. We ate it with thick carrots that had been cooked with butter crushed cumin seeds and honey.

For a pudding I was determined to make use of some of the large apples from the garden. I peeled and quartered six large ones and put them into the hot oven covered with a thin layer of brown sugar. By the time we had finished on the chicken the apples had started to collapse in on themselves.

I poured whipped cream in a large flat whit bowl and spooned the apples on top. Rather to my surprise the kids ate it as well.  Probably all the sugar.

There was plenty of chicken left. Stock has been made and this evening I had a chicken salad all to myself. I used up the last ten tomatoes from the greenhouse and the last padron pepper which had turned red. These were chopped and stirred into the chicken together with half a sliced onion, mint, parsley and half a tub of Greek yogurt.

There is more chicken left for a pungent Vietnamese stir fry tomorrow night. We will see how the kids do with that.

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