In case you weren’t aware, last night was the London Olympics Opening Ceremony. I felt rather emotional watching it, and personally think that it was a fantastic show. I’m ignoring all critics based on the fact that Americans just can’t comprehend the extent of British history and culture. Bejing was amazing, but I mean the Queen was parachuted in with James Bond… doesn’t get much better than that. Although I do agree that Paul McCartney is past it. Nevertheless, I’m British and proud.
In an attempt to channel some more of GREAT Britain into my Friday evening, I made a traditional roast chicken dinner. Because I was only cooking for myself, I didn’t bother roasting a whole chicken, but baked some boneless chicken thighs with garlic and herbs. This is an easy and inexpensive way to make dinner for a small number of people. I accompanied this with one of the greatest things to ever come out of England… Roast potatoes. If they are done right, they are absolutely delicious. In this post I aim to impart my potato roasting wisdom to you, so that you can attempt to recreate the magic in your own kitchen.
I also had broccoli, peas, bread sauce and lots of gravy. When I was growing up, the bread sauce was an extremely sought after condiment. Mum always had to make double quantities to prevent it coming to blows. The only upside to not having my family around to enjoy my roast dinner with me… I don’t have to fight any of my sisters for the bread sauce! It’s one of the only things I make out of the packet, because it is considerably easier. And I actually think it tastes better. If you feel like being fancy, I recommend you try Jamie Oliver’s recipe.
Now back to those potatoes…
Traditional English Roasties
Serves: 1 very hungry, roast potato loving British person. I recommend you use 1 large russet (or King Edward in England!) potato per person.
- 2 large russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into quarters
- 1/4 cup of vegetable oil (in an ideal world, you would use a big dollop of goose fat)
- a sprinkle of sea salt
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and add potatoes. Cook for 5-10 minutes until they are slightly cooked, but still firm. DO NOT overcook, or they will fall apart when you roast them.
- Drain the potatoes and place back in the pan. Put the lid on and shake vigorously to fluff up the edges of the potatoes. This will ensure they are nice and crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
- Pour oil onto a large baking tray and place in the oven to heat up for 5 minutes. You want the oil to be very hot, so be extremely careful when taking out of the oven.
- Remove the tray from the oven and tip the potatoes onto the hot oil. You are looking for a sizzle. If not, the oil isn’t hot enough.
- Take two forks and turn each potato over to coat in oil.
- Return to the oven and roast for 30 minutes, then take out the tray and turn the potatoes over. Place back in the oven for a further 20 – 30 minutes. You want them to be golden brown and crisp.
- I like to sprinkle a little sea salt over the cooked potatoes, then serve with roast meat of your choice and lashings of gravy.
I love to eat the leftover potatoes cold, but you could also turn them into a spanish omelette for breakfast the next day. Although that has never, not even once, happened in my house. They are long gone before you could even say bubble and squeak.