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Mother’s Day Dinner

It’s only once a year that we celebrate and reward our mothers for the tireless effort that they make every day throughout the year, every year.  Spending quality time with our families especially our mums and making them feel special by making them a meal for a change is one of the best ways to show them how much you appreciate their efforts.  
I come from a Greek background where the love of food is instilled from childhood as many of us cook together when preparing for events or contribute our own special dishes to these special family occasions.  One of the most important factors when making any meal is good quality, fresh ingredients.  The use of poor quality ingredients can be detrimental to the flavour of any meal.  With the uncertain environment surrounding food at the moment sometimes the best option is to buy direct from meat suppliers.  Ideally, one would buy direct from good quality, well know, established companies.  Farmers Choice thankfully is a great, long standing company having had some customers that have been ordering from them for 20 years.  They provide free range meat, poultry, fish, fruit, vegetables and herbs.
Ever a popular meal the Sunday Roast is a firm favourite for many.  There are many variations to this popular meal and it’s easy to spice it up a bit and add in new flavours to keep it interesting.  Roast chicken, beef, lamb the question is which one to go for!  I come from a family that would probably have roasted everything, not forgetting all the roasted vegetables.  Now it would be a bit unfair of me to squeeze all the dishes into this post with pictures of each as I am sure it will make a few tummies rumble so I have decided to tell you about one recipe, roast chicken, but with a simple yet tasty sauce to serve it with.  Roast chicken is one of the most popular meals for both adults and children and you can serve it plain with vegetables or with a delicious gravy or sauce.  I love roast potatoes, but they have to have a crunchy outside.  I have included a recipe for these so you can get perfect roast potatoes every time.
Roast Chicken
Serves 4

(the size of this will of course depend on how many people will be eating so increase or decrease cooking time so you don’t over or under cook)

I like to add flavour to chicken by adding butter and herbs under the skin.  The flavours infuse into the meat below and make it taste delicious as well as helping to keep it moist.  One thing to remember when roasting is to baste it regularly.  Pouring the juices that run to the bottom of the roasting tin back over the chicken help to add flavour and keep in moisture.
1 free range chicken (approx. 3lb)
25 grams butter
1 tablespoon finely chopped sage (you can use a mix of herbs including parsley and thyme)
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
Combine the butter, garlic and sage and then loosen the skin of the breasts and thighs of the chicken and spread the butter mixture underneath evenly.  Put the chicken in a roasting tin and cover with foil.
Place the chicken in a preheated oven at 200 degrees, fan 180 degrees for 45 minutes.  Then remove the foil and roast uncovered for approximately 1 hour or 1 hour and 15 minutes, basting every 20 minutes or so.  Check that the juices are running clear by sticking a metal skewer or knife into the thickest part of the thigh.  
Once cooked, remove the chicken from the tin and set aside on the dish on your serving dish.
White Wine Sauce
The juice from the roasted chicken with browned parts from the tin
150 ml dry white wine
salt and pepper
Skim all the fat from the surface of the juices in the tin.  You can then place the tin on the stove or pour the juices from the chicken into a pan taking care to scrape all the browned parts in too as they add flavour.  Bring this to a boil and then add the white wine.  Again bring to a boil, if you are doing this with the roasting tin make sure you scrape up all of the browned bits from the bottom of the tin. Boil the sauce for 1 minute and then season to taste.
Roast Potatoes 
Serves 4
6 medium potatoes peeled and halved
Enough hot water to cover the potatoes in a saucepan
Sunflower oil to roast the potatoes, you need to have enough so that it comes up approximately 1 centimetre up the side of the oven proof dish
Sea salt flakes
Boil the potatoes until they softened approximately 25-30 minutes. 
Whilst the potatoes are boiling prepare the oil by placing it in an oven proof dish and place in an oven at 200 degrees for about 10 minutes.
When the potatoes are ready, strain and add to the hot oil (the oil must bubble when the potatoes are added or it isn’t ready). Cook for approximately 45 minutes check part way through and turn. When the potatoes are golden brown remove from the oil and place on some kitchen towel to drain off the excess oil.  
Sprinkle with salt.
Roasted Carrots with Honey
Serves 4
Carrots add a different texture and a little sweetness into the meal, especially when they are roasted with honey.
1 kg carrots
4 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp honey
4 tbsp red wine vinegar.
Salt & Pepper
Pre heat the oven to 200 degrees, fan 180 degrees.
Peel and halve the carrots.
Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and cook the carrots for 5 minutes so they soften a little.  Remove and drain.
Place the carrots in an oven proof dish and add the oil, honey and vinegar and toss well before placing in the oven and cooking for approximately 30-40 minutes.
Season with Salt & Pepper to taste.


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