I don't know if I've ever told you this but Mr NQN comes from an alternative family. One in which taking pills would cause cause real and not mock horror and where some family members refuse to drink Coke or coffee. Mr NQN broke free from this eating style when he was in his mid-late teens and did it by way of a hamburger, I suppose the best way for someone raised vegetarian and alternative to rebel - not only would there be meat but it was also one of those burger chains!
His charming hippy upbringing is a sweet tale that I often feel should be made into a book. It would be the alternative version of the Royal Tenenbaums. The eccentric father who was lost at sea and necessitated a National rescue effort, the well meaning mother who would wear pendants to ward off radiation and the siblings who escaped near death experiences and fought like cats and dogs and one whose dearest wish was to have a television in the lounge room, even if it didn't work, so that they could just be like everyone else.
His mum's solution for any remedy is a natural one and I do agree with her on some points and I do usually take pills with some hesitation. One of the items that Mr NQN and I frequently use especially in Winter is garlic. It is one of those things that when eaten or taken in capsule form, seems to ward off colds. It doesn't seem to help much once you have the flu for us but if we're feeling under the weather we take it. Of course his family wouldn't eat this particular dish, after all this is meat.
_Eagle eyed NQN readers spotted the "kissing" intertwined carrots! See comments below _
I was feeling poorly this week, I think a result of a cold snap which always means that I catch a cold and the chicken and garlic couldn't have come at a better time. Ever better still the leftovers were perfect for the next night - Chinese penicillin aka chicken congee. The way that it's baked is almost like steaming a chicken in the wonderful garlic laden sauce and one of my favourite parts was the delicious garlic sauce which I thickened slightly and poured over the potatoes.
So tell me Dear Reader, how did you rebel while growing up?
Roast Chicken with 40 Garlic Cloves
1 large free range chicken (1.5 kilos/3 pounds)
1 lemon or lime
1 sprig of rosemary
40 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
1 teaspoon oil
1 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
Honey roasted carrots and quick roast potatoes
1 bunch Dutch carrots
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon butter
750grams/1.5 pounds potatoes
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Remove excess fat from around the entranceway to the chicken. In a stovetop-proof and oven-proof dish (I used cast iron) heat the oil until hot and then brown the breast side of the chicken lifting it out with tongs. Stuff the chicken with halved lemon or lime and insert sprig of rosemary and six or so cloves of the garlic. Tie up the legs and place back into the baking dish the white wine, chicken stock and the rest of the garlic cloves. Cover with lid and bake for 1 hour.
Step 2 - Meanwhile cut potatoes in half and boil in salted water until tender but not mushy. Meanwhile peel and trim the Dutch carrots and poach them in salted boiling water for 3 minutes (keeping the similarly thick ones together as they need a bit more time and the thin ones will only need 1-2 minutes). Refresh in a bowl of ice water and drain.
Step 3 - Line a large baking tray with parchment. Heat the honey and butter in a saucepan on medium heat and cook the carrots briefly in the sweet honeyed butter and then transfer to the baking dish. Place the potatoes cut side down in the honeyed butter and then move these to the baking tray. Bake for 40 minutes in oven.
Step 4 - When the chicken has been cooking for an hour remove the lid and bake for another 30 minutes. Serve with the gravy which is delicious and can be thickened with a little flour if you like it a thicker consistency. Serve chicken with garlic cloves which you can pop out of the skin as they will be beautifully mellow and sweet.