Over the past month whilst I have been 'non blogging' I have been catching up with recipe books and magazines which I have stacked up, awaiting a long train trip or a long flight. I won't deny that the unexpected present from my Husband of the new Nigel Slater 'Eat' was also a welcome distraction.
Today I was once again removing the chicken from the fridge, ready to roast it as I do nearly every Sunday, when I recalled a number of recipes recently reviewed, which involved sitting the chicken on top of your vegetables.
So leaning in towards the spice rack I decided to give it ago.
From the outset I decided to sit the chicken on some onions, garlic and lemon, and then added 100g of Bulgar Wheat, and to stop the Wheat burning I added half a pint of water.
Deciding I could proably add some further flavour to the roasting onions I also added in a teaspoon of both mustard seed and coriander seeds. Seasoned lightly with both Black pepper and salt then I popped the chicken on top - wrapped the top of the bird in foil sealing it round the top of the roasting tin to stop all the water evaporating.
After 45 minutes of roasting (180C) I unwrapped the parcel. Removed the bird, added 500ml of stock (veg or chicken both are fine) and gave everything a good stir. Because it was no longer pouring with rain, I ventured in to the garden and returning with a whole branch of Bay, and promplty added four or five large leaves (scrunched slightly) in to the dish. The Wheat was beautifully plumped up but not quite ready. Returning the foil lid to the bird I returned the whole thing to the oven for another 20 minutes.
Meanwhile cut two medium Peeled potatoes and two medium Peeled carrots, in to 1cm cubes. Add a little oil to a large saucepan, and saute the potato gently.
Remove the chicken from the oven again. Gently remove the chicken to a new roasting tin and return to the oven.
Pick through the wheat/onion mixture removing the lemon and bay leaves and discard.
Using a sieve, drain the onions etc over a bowl to retain the stock. Add the stock mixture to the gently cooked potato, and add further stock to make up to two pints. Add in 1tsp of mild Curry Powder.
Pick through the remaining vegetables and removing onion and puttng it in a liquidiser, blitz and add to the soup.
Simmer for around seven minutes. You want the potato cooked but not falling appart so you need to keep an eye on it!
Finally stir back in the cooked wheat.
This soup can be reheated as required and will keep for a couple of days in the fridge.
The chicken, as it turns out, cooked to perfection and the meat remained very moist after cooking it over water. Once I have 'picked' over the chicken carcus tomorrow I may even add some of the cooked chicken flesh to the soup to give it even more depth of taste.
If the weather remains as it is at present, I am going to be thankful that I made a hearty soup, even if its only so I get to sit and hug the bowl!!
However to be fair, my husband said that the flavour of the soup was delicious and I think if I was prepared to blitz the finished soup (he doesnt like 'lumps' in his), which I am not, I would have to share, thats not going to happen...............perhaps next week.