Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Deep mid-winter

The daphne bush is finally flowering.  I so love the alluring scent of this wonderful plant..
It's been a busy week or so in the garden, pruning fruit trees and roses and general tidying up.  It is unbelievably wet so we have to get out there when it's not raining.   I am finally picking some things from the veggie garden: rocket, lettuce, spinach and the broccoli and cauliflowers are nearly ready..

I went to Melbourne on the weekend with my friend Soph to go to the Design Trade Fair.  There were a few good bits and pieces, and just like my friend over at Kelly Green, we saw some lovely chairs.  On Saturday we had a very amusing trip to Costco and after initially thinking we wouldn't find much of interest amongst all those huge mountains of things-you-don't-need, came out with this:
While we were gone husband and daughter acquired a new chook run designed to sit over the vegetable garden beds.  It arrived with tenants included.  We now have a golden speckled Hambug and two more Wyandottes.

I cooked a lovely pot roasted chicken the other night.  
Before carving

 I saw a similar recipe in Matthew Evans' new book but did it slightly differently.  I think this is a good way to use a chicken that is not top quality as the liquid imparts a delicate flavour and the meat is beautifully juicy. 


1 chicken, preferably free range
6 sprigs of thyme (or sage)
1 lemon, sliced
a couple of knobs of butter
1 sprig rosemary
1 bay leaf
125ml verjuice
125ml chicken stock

Preheat the oven to 200c.  Place a couple of sprigs of thyme and a few lemon slices inside the cavity of the chicken.  Under the skin push a knob of butter on each side of the breast, followed by a couple of sprigs of thyme.  Season the whole bird really well.
Heat some butter and a slosh of olive oil in a large casserole.  Brown the chicken well on all sides
then add the verjuice and the chicken stock.  Cook uncovered in the oven, basting occasionally, for about 45-60 minutes (test with a skewer, the juices should run clear).
Rest for 15 minutes (covered, in a warm spot) then carve and pour over the pan juices.

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