Tag Archives: roast

Juicy Carving Board

Look what I purchased with my Commonwealth Bank True Awards points (aka credit card points, this is not an endorsed post by the way… But I welcome any free trials 😉 ) – a Curtis Stone parquetry chopping board. A solid hunk of a man, I mean board, set at a 2 degree angle so the roast meat juices run off the board into a tray (instead of across your benchtop) for use in a gravy or jus.

I can’t wait to try it out! (Actually I suspect FiancĂ© will wrest carving rights).

But for tonight it’s vegetarian lasagne for Meatless Monday!


Vege lasagne:




Posted by on July 16, 2012 in Food


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Lemon and Thyme Roast Chicken

Recently I haven’t paid enough attention to my blogs. The wedding planning fun of perusing flowers, decorations, cars, dresses (yes it IS fun) has satisfied my creative outlet while my blogs have suffered from neglect. So here’s a little update with a new recipe for a delicious and healthy roast chicken dinner.

First a little back-story: While surfing the internet for bridal thingys, I came across an online personal trainer. The online program met all my schemes and dreams for fitness even prior to me receiving The Question and starting to think “wedding fit”. I had been looking for a source of fitness inspiration for quite sometime (see my lifestyle blog) and the online program that I found called Bride Body satisfied all of my wants even pre-engagement. Note there is an obvious target market for this program, but the lessons learned in the program would work for anyone.

In addition to a week’s worth of workouts, Bride Body sends me a weekly list of recipes plus a shopping list for all the ingredients. The meals use fresh whole food ingredients that are mostly GF and DF (I modify when I want to) and because I love to cook this program works well for me. I’m loving being sent new cooking ideas, trying different ingredients and generally having someone do all the thinking for me! I feel well nourished, and after only 3 weeks on the program I fit back into my post-breakup skinny jeans* for the first time in 2.5 years! Awesomeness.

Tonight we had lemon thyme roast chicken from Week 4 of the program… Healthy, refreshing and (to quote fiancĂ©): “another awesome dinner cheech”. Nom nom!

* A story for another day.

Ingredients (I halved these portions because I used 2 small chicken breasts instead of a whole chook)
1 whole chicken
2 lemons, one cut in half, and one half into quarters
Lemon thyme
1 head of garlic, broken into cloves
200g green beans
Frozen peas (I used a head of broccoli instead)
1 bunch asparagus

Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees C.

Place chicken in a roasting pan.

Fill the cavity with lemon quarters and chopped thyme, secure with a toothpick or string (I filled the cavity of the breast).

Squeeze juice of the lemon halves over the chicken, sprinkle with thyme and lightly spray with olive oil spray.

Scatter garlic cloves in the dish around the chicken.

Roast for 1 hr (or 40-45 min if you have small breasts 😉 ). The chicken is cooked if juices run clear when you pierce the breast with a skewer.

Steam the vegetables for 3 minutes.

Serve the chicken with steamed green vegetables.

I only ate half of one breast and save the rest for lunch the next day: shredded chicken breast on cos lettuce leaves with ricotta and an almond salad. Triple NOM!

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Posted by on June 19, 2012 in Food


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Lemon Infused Roast Chicken

And here is the second of two lemon-triffic winter dishes. Again with chicken…


1 whole chicken, cleaned
1 cup bread crumbs
1 tomato, diced
1/2 brown onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
zest of 2 lemons
150g salt-reduced butter softened


Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

Mix bread crumbs, garlic, onion and tomato in a bowl.

In a separate bowl combine softened butter and lemon zest. Don’t let butter melt.

Rinse chicken, drain, then stuff cavity with bread mix.

Place chicken breast-down. Loosen the skin from the body at the rear. Slide hands forward to gently separate the skin from the meat. Using your fingers, spread the butter and zest combo between the skin and the meat. Flatten skin.

Roast chicken at 180 degrees. As a guide, allow 60 minutes per 1kg of a whole stuffed chicken but check the packaging of your chicken for instructions or ask your butcher.

To test if cooked, insert a skewer into thick area of the thigh and if juice runs clear with no sign of pink then the chicken is cooked.

Carve. Serve breast, legs or wings with stuffing. Add a side of salad or roasted leek, potato and pumpkin.


Posted by on June 15, 2011 in Food


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Chicken Risotto with Lemon and Dill

What is it about autumn and winter that makes me want to cook with lemon??

Is it the power of the citrus and vitamin C? Is it a little bit of zest added to shortening days and greying skies? Is it how well the tang follows previous days’ cuisine that may become heavy in spices and chilli as we slide into our cool-weather repertoire?

Whatever the reason, I have rammed lemon quite-literally into the rhelm of chicken. While I by no means profess to be the first to do this, here is the first of two tremendous lemony dishes to add zest to cold-weather cooking:

Chicken Risotto with Lemon and Dill

I was inspired to create this for a little overnight holiday to the Blue Mountains. Staying with 8 girlfriends in a lodge with an open fire and a hot tub will undoubtedly invite copious and varietal wine and champagne sampling. And so I thought that a hearty meal consisting of ratatouille (which would nicely accompany a smokey red*), cous cous (neutral), and a lemon chicken risotto (for those with the whites and the sparkling*) would be just the thing for a cold mountain escape.

* note here that food accompanies wine. I think some wines are so integral to the experience that you are trying create, such as here the open fire will necessitate a quality red, and the hot tub warrants a generous stock of bubbles, that the food must fit in almost unobtrusively so that it does not shame the other components. Just as good meal can be destroyed by a bad wine, so too does the opposite apply.

Serves 6.

600g skin free chicken breast, cut into 5cm cubes
2 cups arborio rice
1/4 cup chopped dill
2 lemons
1/2 brown onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed*
250mL white wine
500mL chicken stock
1 kettle of boiled water
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cracked pepper
2 tbsp olive oil


Grate the peel of two lemons for zest.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and stir-fry for 5 minutes or until chicken just starts to brown. Cook for 2 minutes but ensure that chicken remains tender. Cover with al-foil and set aside.

Add 1 tbsp olive oil and chopped onion to a large saucepan or stovetop casserole dish and heat on medium heat on the stovetop. Cook onion, stirring continuously until soft and translucent (2-5 min, do not allow to brown).

Add rice and stir with a wooden spoon to coat rice with oil and onion. Stir for 1 minute until all grains appear slightly glassy.

Add 1/2 cup of wine and stir until liquid is absorbed.

Add lemon zest and squeeze the two lemons to add lemon juice and stir to combine.

Add 1/2 cup of stock and stir until the liquid is absorbed. Add 1/2 cup hot/boiling water and stir until absorbed. Continue adding wine, stock and water 1/2 cup at a time, while stirring and allowing the liquid to be absorbed before adding the next cup. Do this for 20 minutes. Proceed to drink the rest of the wine while this is happening.

Add the cooked chicken pieces and the chopped dill. Stir to combine.

Add the final volumes of wine, stock and water in sequence while stirring, until rice is soft and the mixture is creamy.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve into four bowls or plates. Serve with a side salad of greek salad or baby spinach leaves with balsamic glaze.

* I haven’t added garlic here. If you like garlic then add crushed garlic to the initial cooking stage of the chicken or onion.

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Posted by on June 15, 2011 in Food


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