Thursday, 9 February 2012

The Friday Night Plan #1

I've started writing a weekly article for my work website. It's called, The Friday Night Plan. It's a recipe a wine match and a film to enjoy together on a Friday night in. I don't know any rules saying I can't post it on here too, so I will, and sometimes you may even get it before the work website! I'll start with a retrospective, I'll post the first 4 I've done in succession, so here's #1:

Welcome to the first edition of our new weekly feature; The Friday Night Plan. Times are tough and one can't always afford to go out to a restaurant. More and more, people want to bring the fine dining experience to the home, at Majestic we're all for this. So we want to help out. Each week we will give you a recipe, a wine to match with it and a film to watch after the meal (because we love films).

Stuart's Roasted Bonanza

Serves 4


4 chicken breasts and 24 slices of pancetta/ a medium chicken and 12 slices of pancetta or smoked back bacon for those on a budget,

1 pack of Chanteray Carrots/ 2 regular carrots,

1 pack of salad onions,

4 large maris piper potatoes,

a small glass of Extra Dry Martini,

a shallot,

125ml double cream,

a large knob of butter,

Sunflower/Vegetable oil,

Goose Fat (no compromise here, it really does make the best roasties).


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celcius/ 180 for a fan oven

If using a whole chicken, first joint it, keep the carcass to make stock with.

Wrap the breasts in the pancetta/bacon. Season well with salt and pepper.

Add a small drizzle of sunflower/vegetable oil to a large roasting tray and pop this in the oven to heat up.

In a large frying pan heat a couple of tablespoons of sunflower or vegetable oil over a medium heat. Next brown the joints and breasts in the pan

Put the browned meat into the preheated roasting tray and return to the oven for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through, turning half way through cooking.

Peel and chop the potatoes into mouthsize chunks, par-boil in well salted water for 5 minutes, drain well. In the pan, with the lid on bash the potatoes around to fluff up the edges. This will create crispy bits later. Season well with salt and pepper.

Take the tops off the Chanteray carrots, or peel and chop the regular carrots into batons. Par-boil the carrots in well salted water for 5 minutes. Season well.

In another roasting tray put enough sunflower/vegetable oil to coat the bottom, and in yet another put a heaped tablespoon of Goose fat. Put both in the oven to heat up.

Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the oven and place on a warmed plate, covered in foil and a tea-towel to rest and keep warm.

Turn the oven up by 20 degrees, and once up to temperature put your spuds on the goose fat tray, and your carrots on the oiled tray, be careful of splashing oil here!

Return to the oven for 25-30 minutes or until well browned, turning half way through. In the last 10 minutes of cooking scatter the salad onions in with the carrots.

To cook the sauce, heat a little oil in a frying pan over a high heat. Finely slice the shallot into rings. Cook the shallot in the pan to get a little colour and soften for 2-3 minutes. Pour in the Martini and simmer to cook off some of the alcohol. Add the cream and stir well, leave to reduce for a minute. Tip in the residual juices from the rested chicken, and finish with a large knob of butter, stir well.

To serve, slice the chicken breasts at a slant and fight over the legs if using. Add the veg and finish with the sauce on the chicken.



Fine Wine Option: Planeta Chardonnay - £25 a bottle, this wine has undergone Malo-lactic-fermentation, which involves converting the harsh appley malic acids in the wine into creamy, buttery lactic acids. The resulting butteriness complements the sauce. Oak characteristics go well with the bacon and the peachy almost syrupy fruit works well with the roasted vegetables. Don't be fooled by the fruit though, this is bone dry with greast refreshing acidity.

Budget Option: Louis Latour Grand Ardeche Chardonnay - £8.49 when you buy two bottles or more. Again syrupy, peach fruit, which goes well with the roasted veg. Creamy vanilla imparted by the oak complements the sauce. This one is ridiculously popular so I promise you will want two bottles anyway.

The Film

To go with the first edition of the Friday Night Plan, I'm reccomending my favourite film; Ferris Bueller's Day Off. This film features a great performance from Matthew Broderick in the lead role. He is at his best as the charismatic Ferris Bueller. This is a teen coming of age classic, directed by the late, great John Hughes and a great introduction to his oeuvre. It definitely holds up well with age, both of the film and the viewer. Endlessly quotable and with a great soundtrack, this is a great way to start your weekend.

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