Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Roast chicken with rice? Of course it works!!

I love my Chinese food as well as a good English roast dinner.  I also love combining the two, much to my eldest daughter's disgust.  Some people will find it odd but to me it's perfectly normal.

When I was growing up, using a knife and fork to eat off a plate was a real treat compared to the everyday mundane chore of having to use chopsticks and a bowl to eat out of, picking bits from different dishes.  To have everything on one plate was brilliant and much more fun.

Now that I am much older and have my own home I miss having rice every day and when I don't have it I crave it.  Even when we go away to Majorca we always have to seek out a Chinese restaurant and have Chinese food at least once whilst we are there.

I have never made a roast dinner or even attempted to cook a roast chicken until I was married and living my own life.  I don't do it very often and usually it is a bit hit and miss as to how well the chicken and roast potatoes turn out.  I have recently tried making cauliflower cheese which I love to eat, and although it looks a simple dish, and to some people simple to make, it was a mammoth task to undertake, with melting the butter and then adding the flour and then the milk, constantly stirring to ensure it doesn't go lumpy always made my arm ache.  That was all before I'd even carved the chicken, which to a regular English family was always seen traditionally as the husband's task.  However, my loving husband has given up his right to carve claiming that he has never done it before and would only butcher the thing and make a mess, that it was solely left up to me to do on top of all the other jobs I get landed with in the process of making a roast dinner.

Anyway, if we're having roast chicken with guests I would just stick to the English version with roast potatoes and about 5 different types of veg.  If we're having it on our own I would normally put the rice cooker on and have mine with rice (with some potatoes too) and loaded with gravy - delicious.  I would put a smaller portion of rice on my husband's plate and I would give my daughter potatoes as she always complains about having rice.  Sometimes I would even make boiled potatoes as well as roasted ones because I prefer roast whereas she prefers boiled.  And my husband?...well, he eats anything so I don't need to think about him in that respect.

When cooking the rice, I would always tend to make extra too so the leftover chicken, veg ad gravy can all be put into a tub to be taken to work the next day.  Colleagues have always commented on the wonderful variety of meals I brought into work for lunch, which always made them hungry.  They were much better than sandwiches.

Also, with the leftover carcass I would use to make juk, a Chinese rice porridge type thing, otherwise known as congee.  The carcass and an extra chicken leg makes a lovely sweet tasting broth for this.  My daughter use to love it when she was a baby and hopefully my second daughter will too.

Sometimes, when I don't feel like doing a whole chicken I would normally roast chicken legs or drumsticks, since I prefer these to chicken breast anyway.  Occasionally I would use pork shoulder steaks instead of the chicken which works just as well.

Rice, to me, is as versatile as any potato and in my eyes can be used with any meal.

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