Perfect roast chicken
Roast chicken has got to be an all time favorite of so many people and it has taken much trial and error, uncooked thighs and last minute microwaving to get this foolproof method.
40 – 45 minutes per kg + 10 minutes (browning). For a 2 kg bird it would be 90-100 minutes.
Oven temperature, 190 Celsius (browning 220 celsius)
Take your chicken from its packaging and pat it dry inside and out with paper towel. Smear some soft butter all over the skin of the chicken. Season well with Salt and pepper and a small amount of your favorite spices if you wish, I often use paprika or cover the breasts with some streaky bacon, much like doing a turkey.
Place the chicken on a roasting pan in the center of the oven (if you put it too high the skin will burn). Every 30 minutes or so open the oven and spoon some of the juices over the breasts and for the last 10 minutes of the cooking time turn the heat up to 200 celsius.
Remove the chicken from the oven, cover lightly with tin foil and leave to rest for about 10 – 15 minutes. DO NOT BE TEMPTED TO CARVE BEFORE IT HAS RESTED PROPERLY, ALL THE JUICES WILL FLOW OUT AND THE CHICKEN WILL BE DRY.
The gravy can make or break a great roast chicken, so do it properly.
Take the roasting pan with all the juices and remove some of the fat with a spoon, put the pan over a medium plate and scrape all the bits off the bottom of the pan. Add a little flour and mix quickly until you have a smooth paste. Slowly add chicken stick while you continuosly stir and keep adding and stirring until the gravy is as thick as you want it.
You will need the perfect roast potato recipe to finish this one off.
If you are a single guy like me or a single woman for that matter who neglects to eat enough veggies from time to time then this one will set you in good stead, and the best thing about it is that you can add almost anything to it and make it a full on meal.
You will need
Stock, chicken or veg stock depending on what flavour you feel like or what you are going to add to it. Personally I use chicken stock 90% of the time, vegetable quantities will vary and you can add almost any vegetable, make a pile of your favorite vegetables that is about 1/3 more than you think you will need.
These are the basic veg that you should have in any soup and then you can go to town, add whatever your favorite veg is to the list and even a few of those never tried before veg, lets face it, how bad can they really taste! They can only be good for you.
The process (10 minutes max )
Chop up the veg into nice bite size pieces, not too small, we are after a good hearty meal in a soup kind of setup. Make up some stock (read the package), generally I make 500ml and thats good for about 4 servings.
Put a large pot on the stove at a medium to high heat. Add a little olive oil and fry the unions a little or until they are glistening, sometimes I throw in all the veg and give them a bit of a fry for no other reason than I feel like it and it starts to smell good.
Then all you need to do is add the stock, not quite covering the veg, turn down the heat to a low heat and simmer it for about 10-15 minutes with the lid on and you’re done. Now you can chop up a few herbs, grate a little parmesan(my favorite) or chop up a spring onion and sprinkle on top of your soup, a grind of pepper and a pinch of salt before eating.
When you add meat or chicken, fry it up with the onions befor adding the stock. I like to shred chicken in my soup, it gives it a kind of chinesey feel.
Cuban spicy Chorico
This has become one of my all time favorite recipes that takes about 10 minutes to prepare. I made it one day for a few mates who came over to watch the rugby and now I can’t seem to get rid of them. I first had it at a Cuban restaurant in Cape town and just could not get enough of it so had to get a recipe going and here it is!
It can be spicy or mild but I would recommend as spicy as you can handle.
Warning: You will not be welcomed by lovers who have not been eating this with you.
What you need
A couple of Chorizo, say 6 inches of chorizo per person sliced into fairly chunky slices, about 1/2 cm each.
Put a pot on the stove, add 1 tin of chopped tomatoes for every 4/5 people(with or without onion – depends how you feel) . Heat on a medium heat for a few min. Add a few cloves of crushed garlic, whole dried chilli’s to your taste and a teaspoon of paprika per tin tomatoes (smoked paprika if you have) and gently simmer it for a few minutes. Toss on the sliced chorizo and let it all simmer while you cut up a few french loaves or pita or whatever you prefer.
Spoon the mixture into a bowl and if you like it fancy like I do, chop up a few spring onions and sprinkle on top and drink up those compliments.
If you really want to make it a special experience for your friends, make this biltong recipe and the tortilla recipe.
This cheesecake is certainly not for those who count calories or are even slightly health concious. We have no idea how much fat or how many calories are in it but we do know how you will feel while eating it, Grrrrrrreat.
1-1 1/2 cups – chocolate biscuits, chocolate wafers or a combination that you like best. they must not have chocolate chips in them.
75 ml melted butter
350g dark chocolate (70% cocoa) chopped
2 x 350g tubs of smooth cream cheese (full fat)
1 cup sugar
4 eggs (large)
pinch of salt
125ml strong hot coffee like expresso
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
Before you start
Preheat oven to 160 degrees C.
Springform baking tin – remove bottom of tin and cover with tin foil, reassemble tin.
break up the biscuits by knocking them with a rolling pin or squeezing them between you fingers and mix together with the melted butter, then press quite firmly into the bottom of the baking tin and pop it into the fridge.
Melt chocolate in a bowl above a pot of simmering water until soft. Remove from the pot and stir until all the chocolate is melted and it is velvety smooth.
Take another bowl and empty both tubs of cream cheese into the bowl, beat on low for a few minutes or until soft, add sugar gradually beating all the time. Then add the eggs and beat well. Add the vanilla essence, coffee and salt and beat on a slow speed until beautifully combined. Add melted chocolate and beat for a few more minutes. Dont taste too frequently at this stage… theres a cake to make.
Get the cold crust from the fridge and pour the chocolatey heavenly mixture over the crust. Give it a little shake to even it out. Put it into a roasting pan with water an inch or 2 up the side.
Bake for 1 hour or until center is firm and switch off the oven. DO NOT REMOVE FROM THE OVEN just open the door and let it cool inside the oven. Don’t poke it or taste it – You can do it!
Once completely cooled put it in the fridge overnight (while I’m writing this I’m thinking that what we have to resist before we get to taste gives us the right to load on the calories – the stress of temptation must cost at least 1000 calories)
The next day
It’s finally time.
Loosen the edges with a knife, remove the sides of the tin and dive in!!!!! NO not yet. Take a vegetable peeler and shave some chocolate over the top, add some whipped cream if you like and then DIVE IN.
YES, YES, YES (Only eat out of earshot of the neighbours)