Roast chicken with smoked salt and garlic, white wine sauce and butternut squash with feta and pine nuts

Last week we had the Sunday roast on the Saturday, which worked really well actually. I served it with a creamy sauce instead of gravy to make it worthy of a Saturday night supper, and it worked!

I also tried some smoked salt I bought a while ago from Halen Môn. I have been dying to try it and thought chicken was the perfect place to start. To make it adhere better to the chicken I crushed the salt flakes in my pestle and mortar first.

Apart from the smoked salt I only used butter, garlic and white pepper to season the chicken. It tasted lovely and came out very moist, but if you want a more distinct smoked taste you need to add more salt.

I also put some potato chunks and red onion in the roasting tray with the chicken so they could soak up the meat juices and taste all lovely. Roasted butternut squash with feta cheese and pine nuts as well as green beans was the perfect addition.

And then the sauce. It was a creamy concoction with white wine and a dash of balsamic vinegar and it was excellent with chicken. I will definitely make it again. Soon even.

Roast chicken with smoked salt and garlic, serves 4

1 medium chicken

3 tbsp butter

3 tsp smoked salt, crushed

white pepper

3 jacket potato sized potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

1/2 red onion, cut into wedges

Rinse the chicken and trim it if needed. Make a cut in the skin above each breasts. Stick your finger into the whole and create a pocket between the skin and the meat. Make two slashes on each thigh with a knife. Mix the butter with garlic and fill the breast pockets with this mixture. Smear it onto the thighs and rub what is left onto the whole chicken. Season with smoked salt and white pepper all around the bird. Place in a roasting tray with the potatoes and onions. Roast for 45-60 minutes in 200C or until the chicken is cooked through (clear meat juices by the thigh joint) and the potatoes are done. Leave to rest for 10 mins covered in foil before serving. Sprinkle on some more smoked salt when carved.

Roasted butternut squash with feta and pine nuts, serves 4

1/2 butternut squash

3 tbsp crumbled feta

1 tbsp pine nuts, toasted if you prefer

Remove the pips and cut off the ends of the squash. Cut into chunks and place in a small roasting tray. Sprinkle with feta and pine nuts, salt and pepper. Roast in 200C for 20-25 mins.

White wine sauce with chicken, serves 2

100 ml white wine

2 tsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp concentrated chicken stock

100 ml cream

1 tsl mild chilisås

salt and pepper

Pour all the ingredients into a sauce pan. Bring to the boil and heat up. Adjust the stock and seasoning.

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Roast topside of beef with bearnaise sauce

My little autumn cooking project will be to master all kinds of roasts and casseroles, ans it is so much fun.

We had this for supper last Saturday and it was lovely. If we have steak I prefer mine blue, basically just turned in a hot pan, but I prefer a roast rare, as topside needs longer to cook. And this was cooked to perfection with my references. It was a little bloody, proper red meat and still tender and juicy.

I served it with bèarnaise sauce, which I love and the recipe below is both easy and makes the perfectly balanced sauce. In restaurants you often get a terrible vinegary runny sauce, and this it is counterpart. The sauce is thick and velvety, has enough vinegar to not be buttery, but not so much that it takes over. I’m salivating just thinking about it…

Further, I served potato wedges and purple sprouting with the meal and red wine is almost compulsory.

Roast topside of beef, serves 4

600-800 g topside of beef

salt, black pepper

butter and oil for frying

Trim the meat and pat it with plenty of salt and pepper. Brown it in a hot frying pan in the butter and oil until nice and brown on all sides. Place in an oven dish or put the pan (no plastic handles) straight in the oven. Place a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the meat. Place it in a 150C oven for about 20 minutes or until the inner temperature is 43C. Remove the meat from the dish/frying pan and cover wuth tin foil. Let it rest for at least 10 minutes before serving in slices.

Bèarnaise sauce 2.0, serves 2-4

2,5 tbsp white wine vinegar

1,75 tsp dried tarragon

2 tbsp water

3 egg yolks

150 g butter cold or at room temperature, cut into small cubes

Add the vinegar and tarragon to a nonstick saucepan. Reduce on high heat while stirring and the fan on full until most of the liquid has evaporated. Make sure not to burn the herbs. Remove from heat and add the water. Add the egg yolks and stir. Place the pan on low heat and stir until it starts to thicken slightly, add a butter cube and while stirring, watch it melt. Add another and repeat. Remember to stir/whisk all the time. After a few cubes you can a few at the time. Repeat until all the butter has melted. Let it thicken some more if needed, and remember that it will keep cooking even when you remove the pan from the heat. Season with salt and white pepper if needed. Pour into a cold sauce bowl straight away and serve.