Friday, 8 November 2013

#20 - Lemon & Garlic Roast Chicken


When we first moved into our own house, I always thought that the first recipe I was going to try out in the kitchen is going to be a perfectly oven-roasted chicken. Somehow, it seemed to me that it is only right (and simple enough) that a oven-roasted chicken is to be the first dish coming out of the newly bought oven and right onto the dinner table for our first Christmas dinner in our own home. Pity, this did not happen in our case. 

2 years had passed and it finally stuck me the other day that I have not tried roasting any poultry using the oven yet! How can I let that be the case? Finally, a couple of Sundays ago, I decided to give the 'Roast Chicken with Lemon & Herbs' recipe a try. As usual, I made some small changes to the original recipe and the chicken turned out really well! 

Personally, I feel that this dish is great for beginner cooks like myself, with minimal ingredients and attention required. This time round, I even tried to cook the roasted potatoes together with the chicken (and some bacon as well) but it turned out that the potatoes were kind of overly done. Though the potatoes tasted great but I wouldn't advise anyone eating too much of them due to the burned skin. Not that good for health, you see? In fact, the next time I try this recipe, I would probably cook the roasted potatoes and vegetables separately as there will be plenty of time to do so while waiting for the chicken to cook in the oven. Most importantly, add plenty of lemon, garlic and rosemary! They impart a light and soft scent to the meat. They are such an excellent combination! 



Recipe: Adapted and modified from here

Serve 2 to 4 persons

1 whole Chicken
2 tbsp Rosemary, finely chopped
3tbsp Butter, room temperature
2 cloves Garlic, grated
1 Lemon, zested and juiced
1 whole head Garlic, halved 
1 Lemon, halved

Roasted Potatoes
4 large Potatoes
10 cloves Garlic, unpeeled
2 tbsp Rosemary
4 slices of Bacon, fried and chopped
2 tbsp Olive Oil

1. Preheat oven to 200C and drizzle roasting dish with some olive oil. Set the roasting dish aside for later use.

2. Rinse the chicken inside and out, and pat dry it with kitchen towels. Season the chicken with salt and pepper (including the cavity) and set aside on a large plate for later use. 

3. Wash, dried and cut the potatoes into large chunks, depending on size of potatoes (about 8 to 12 pieces per potatoes) and place them in the roasting dish together with the garlic cloves and pieces of bacon. You may also add in sliced onions or vegetables if you prefer. 

4. Add the chopped rosemary to the roasting dish as well and season them with salt, pepper and olive oil. Toss everything together in the roasting dish to ensure the seasoning is well spread out.

5. In a small bowl, add the finely chopped rosemary to the soft butter. 

6. Using a grater, grate 2 cloves of garlic and add the grated garlic to the butter mixture in Step (5). Also add in the zest of 1 lemon. Season this mixture with salt and pepper. Using a spoon, make sure that this mixture is well mixed together. 

7. Rub 3/4 of the butter mixture under the skin of the chicken, between the breast and the skin of the chicken. Massage well to ensure that the butter mixture is evenly spread out. Rub the remaining 1/4 of the butter mixture all over the chicken. Drizzle the lemon juice of 1 lemon over the chicken. 

8. Cut the remaining lemon and garlic into half and stuff them inside the cavity of the chicken. Also add in some rosemary inside the cavity of the chicken and tie the legs together either using kitchen string or aluminium foil. 

9. Place the chicken in the roasting dish, making sure that the chicken wings are tucked under the chicken itself. Sprinkle some salt and pepper evenly over the top of the chicken. 

10. Bake for 45 minutes, baste and cook for another 15 minutes, or until the juice of the chicken comes out clear after cutting a slit at the chicken thigh. 

11. Remove the chicken from the oven and cover it with aluminium foil for 15 minutes before carving. 

Take note 
(1) Take chicken out of fridge at least 1 hour before roasting it. 
(2) Use fresh chicken instead of frozen chicken. 
(3) If roasting potatoes together with the chicken, check on the potatoes after 30 to 45 minutes. Once the potatoes are done (dark-coloured), remove them from the roasting dish before continuing to roast the chicken. This is to ensure that the potatoes will not be burnt. Alternatively, cook roasted potatoes / vegetables separately. 

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

#19 - Lemon Mint Granita


I saw this recipe at the back of a magazine which I read every month. Lemon & Basil Granita! Basically granita is a Italian frozen dessert which is related to Italian ice and sorbet. It is not as compact as the sorbet but still provides that cooling kick you need on a hot afternoon.

The recipe I chanced upon looked simple enough for me to give it a try and so, it was bookmarked. But then again, me being me, I just couldn't be contented with following the recipe alone and I had to give it a little spin of my own. Decided to replace basil with mint (and you wonder why this site is named as mrsMINTYcream?) and since I have these gorgeous mangoes sitting in my pantry, I decided to add them to my Lemon-Mint Granita. I don't believe there's anyone out there who doesn't like some sweet and gorgeous fruits to go with some good old citrus like lemon and lime. 

The end product was somewhat like a combination of ice-jelly cocktail and ice-kachang (minus the sugary syrup). Go make some granita and keep it in the freezer just because it is so versatile and can simply goes well with just about anything! 


Handful of fresh Mint Leaves (about 50 leaves)
4cups of Water
3 tbsp Fine Sugar
4 Lemons, juiced 
1 Lime, juiced and zested

Mixed Fruits
1 Mango
30g Blueberries
1 Yellow Kiwi
1 Green Kiwi
1 Peach

1. Wash and dry fresh mint leaves. Using a food processor or a blender, pulse the mint leaves until they are mostly pureed. Set aside for later use.

2. Boil the water and sugar to make a syrup. Stir well to ensure the sugar is dissolved. Set aside.

3. Combined and lemon juice with the lime juice. Stir in the zest of one lime into the mixture.

4. Add the mint leaves puree to the lemon-lime juice mixture and stir. Once combined, also add in the sugar syrup and taste. Adjust the mixture to the level of sweetness you desired by adding in more sugar if needed. 

5. Pour the mixture into a freezable container and freeze for at least 4-5 hours. After every 1-2 hours, remove from freezer and flake it using a fork.

6. While waiting for the granita to freeze, prepare the fruits. Wash and diced all the fruits. If you do not have fresh fruits, you may also use canned fruits (without the canned syrup). 

7. Place the fruits at the bottom of a serving cup/mug/bowl. Top with the lemon-mint granita and mint leaves, then serve. 

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