Roast Chicken and a big congrats to Dunnes Stores Cornelscourt

Between dressing up for halloween parties, cookery demos and roast chicken with Marian Finucane we had a busy weekend (recipe below!!).  Let’s start with the demos. I was at the 50th anniversary of Cornelscourt Dunnes Stores. I am their brand ambassador for the Simply Better range for Dunnes Stores and very proud to be too.

GREAT DAY... We had a fantastic day at Cornelscourt to celebrate their 50th Anniversary.

GREAT DAY… We had a fantastic day at Cornelscourt to celebrate their 50th Anniversary.

We had a book signing and two demos and it was a fantastic day. I cooked recipes from the Simply Better range and the ingredients are simply stunning. They use some of the best local producers here in Ireland as well as some beautiful produce from Italy for some of their Italian range.

A huge congratulations to Dunnes Stores and Cornelscourt and also to Diarmuid Murphy and all the Simply Better team who have done such a fantastic job with this range of products. They have now opened a shop within a shop at Cornelscourt with the Simply Better range and it is just brilliant. You won’t go far wrong shopping there.

WORTH A VISIT... The Simply Better shop in Cornelscourt Dunnes Stores

WORTH A VISIT… The Simply Better shop in Cornelscourt Dunnes Stores

The dishes I cooked at the two demos in Cornelscourt were a ‘Speedy Prawn Soup’; ‘Chicken and Cashew Nut Salad with Balsamic Cream and Mango Salsa’, ‘Miso Glaze Salmon. I can’t wait to visit more of their suppliers and see the great work that they do.

The twins, Connor and Lucia also had a great time dressing up for their first Halloween Party at school. Do you think they are spooky?

TWIN TERRORS... The Twins loved dressing for their Halloween party at school.

TWIN TERRORS… The Twins loved dressing for their Halloween party at school.

I was also on the Marian Finucane show over the weekend and I always love chatting to Marian. She really knows her food. We chatted about a whole variety of recipes and I am going to share one with you now. The humble but beautiful Roast Chicken. I hope you enjoy.

A TIMELESS CLASSIC... You just never get tired of a good roast chicken

A TIMELESS CLASSIC… You just never get tired of a good roast chicken

Classic roast chicken

This recipe will give you perfect roast chicken every time. It’s one that everyone should know, as it can always save the day. Make it at the weekend and then have leftovers on standby for the week to use in soups, salads and sandwiches. Try to buy

a free-range or organic chicken, as the flavour is always so much better. I always use the carcass to make stock for soup.

SERVES 4

•  2 onions, halved

• 8 small carrots, peeled

• 1.5kg (3¼lb) whole chicken (preferably free-range or organic)

• 1 lemon, halved

• 1 small bunch of fresh thyme (optional)

• 50g (2oz) butter, softened

• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

METHOD

1 Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F/gas mark 5). Get a shelf ready in the middle of the oven without any shelves above it.

2 Scatter the vegetables over the base of a roasting tin that fits the chicken but doesn’t swamp it. Season the chicken cavity liberally with salt and pepper, then stuff with the lemon halves and thyme, if using.

3 Sit the chicken on the vegetables and smother the breast and legs all over with the butter, then season the outside with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and leave undisturbed for 1 hour 20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and golden brown. To check that it’s fully cooked, pierce the thigh with a skewer – the juices should run clear.

4 Remove the cooked chicken from the oven and leave to rest for at least 20 minutes before carving. Once it is completely cold it can be covered with cling film and stored in the fridge until needed. Carve into slices and use as required.

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