Monday, 19 March 2012

Individual Sunday Roasts

Dining-wise, there is nothing more exciting in life than food which comes in a miniature individual serving size.

From Kellogg's variety pack cereals, to mini Babybel cheeses, to miniature Mr Kipling's battenberg cakes, to tiny hotel minibar bottles of Jack Daniels, there is nothing nicer than a holding a scaled-down version of something which you regularly buy in an annoyingly large SHARING pack.

My hatred of sharing comes from my childhood, when on summer holidays my father would insist on buying large bottles of lemonade to drink with the roadside picnic on our way down to the campsite in Frejus or St Raphael on the French south coast. 'No cans...' my dad would say, ' never finish them.' In true lion pack style, he would insist on taking the first gulp, followed by mum, and then us kids. By the time it got to my poor little sister, Roxanne, the bottle resembled a stockpot, full of half masticated brie, baguette and jambon, which had got caught up in the backwash. Merde.

Oh, and the other thing about individual serving sizes of things, is that they look so cute. Occasionally I make Mrs Ribeye and myself a stuffed poussin each alongside some baby vegetables and imagine that we are giants with an entire full-size family Sunday roast each to devour. Hilarious.

Jokes aside, the recipe I am presenting to you today actually is a Potless Towers favourite. I own a number of 18cm diameter non-stick cake tins which I use to roast individual portions of food - one per person. Regular Potless readers will have noticed that they first made an appearance in this blog in my Toad-in-the-Hole recipe. I find that with roast chicken, the large free range chicken legs (with the thigh attached) make an ideal one portion serving size.

Whatever else you put in is up to you. I normally serve my individual Sunday roasts with a large bowl of steamed vegetables - but you can stay with the non-sharing theme by placing individual portions of the vegetables into the separate tins before serving. Roxanne would approve.

Large free range chicken legs are £2 for two at my local branch of Waitrose, so this dish comes in at well under your Potless budget, at only £2.50 per serving.

Serves 4


200g breadcrumbs
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoon of herbes de Provence or dried mixed herbs
Pinches of salt and pepper
1 egg, beaten
4 tablespoons of olive oil
4 large free range chicken legs (thigh attached)
4 large potatoes, peeled and halved
1 butternut squash, cut into 5cm chunks
1 large parsnip, peeled and cut into 5cm chunks

300ml chicken gravy, to serve
Steamed vegetables, to serve

Preheat oven to 200c. In a bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, onion, garlic, 1 tablespoon of herbs, salt and pepper and egg until you have a firm stuffing. Form the stuffing into four large balls and set aside. Place a chicken leg each into four individual non-stick 18cm pans and place a stuffing ball tightly inside the crook between the leg and the thigh. Sprinkle half a tablespoon of olive oil over the chicken and stuffing and coat the chicken with some of the reserved herbs. Place some of the chunks of potato, squash and parsnip around the chicken and lightly coat with the reserved olive oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the chicken and vegetables. Place all four pans in the oven and roast for 1 hour. Serve with the gravy and steamed vegetables.

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