my freezer is absolutely bursting at the moment so the main criteria for deciding what to cook is clearing space. the obvious starting point for this was a very plump 2.5kg chicken.
i always like to roast chickens so that i can make stock with the carcass but i’m not that keen on a traditional roast dinner. i usually get round this by ditching the roast potato option in favour of something like a pilaf but this time i took inspiration from a friend who mentioned “i did have a very nice meal which was roast chicken, which you then break up and separate as soon as it is out of the oven, and mix with tagliatelle, fresh rosemary and sultanas, making sure to include all the chicken skin and juices and just serve straight away like that. it was gorgeous.”
perfect, decision made. this dish was based on a nigella lawson recipe which i adapted given i didn’t have any tagliatelle or sultanas (the chicken was already in the oven by the time i worked out what i wanted to make with it!).
i used orechiette (i love the way juices get caught in this shape of pasta) and substituted cranberries for the sultanas. as there were only two of us i just carved a mix of breast and leg meat, complete with crispy skin, rather than break up the whole bird. i did use all the pan juices (having strained off the fat and added white wine to it) plus a tablespoon each of toasted pine nuts, soaked cranberries and fresh parsley plus a little less fresh rosemary. i also squeezed over a bit of lemon juice and added plenty of seasoning.
the resulting dish is packed with flavour and was perfect for a slightly damp evening which, sadly, had a hint of autumn in the air.