Monday, February 15, 2010

Roasting in paper or foil

I have discovered the advantages, first mentioned in this post, of roasting meat alongside potatoes in a tin lined with kitchen paper or non-stick foil. (It is a good idea to use two layers.) You sacrifice the crispiness of potatoes that have been parboiled first and then roasted; but you get instead a sweet earthiness in the potato flesh that would otherwise be lost. The potatoes stick even to paper, but not as thoroughly as they do to my roasting tin.

Another advantage of this method, particular when roasting chicken, is that you get a lot more juice. Yesterday, I rubbed a chicken (2.2kg) with a little butter, salted it, and stuffed it with a quartered lemon and with the cloves from a head of garlic. I pre-heated the oven at its highest setting, then turned it down to gas mark 6/200C, and put in the chicken, with the neck part of the giblets next to it. After 30 minutes, I turned down the dial to gas mark 3/160C. After another 30 minutes, I surrounded the chicken with peeled, sliced, washed and drained potatoes.

The chicken was ready after two hours in total. I removed it to a hot plate, which I kept on the grill shelf above the oven. It left behind plenty of juice, which I spooned off into a saucepan, with the neck.

I tossed the potatoes in the tin with some olive oil, and returned them to the oven (with the shelf raised a level) at its highest setting. After 20 minutes, I tossed them again. They were browned in half an hour. The chicken was still warm.

There was enough buttery, lemony sauce, which I warmed in the pan, for four.

The lamb above is studded with slivers of garlic and rosemary, rubbed with oil, salted, and roasted with a foil covering for three hours at gas mark 2/150C. (It browns in spite of the covering.) The procedure with the potatoes was the same as above.

No comments: