Welcome to adobo-down-under!

Musings. Family. Food. Stories. Cooking. Recipes. Eating. A recipe journal. From simple Filipino dishes to challenging recipes and exciting gastronomical failures. This is for my girls to look back on for comfort, memories, laughs, love and lots of food!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Andok meets Rosemary

Andok's is a roast chicken kiosk, popular in Manila. Along the likes of Baliwag and Savoury, take away roast chicken (or lechon manok as it is aptly called in Tagalog) is the most convenient dinner/lunch/snack every time there's no prepared meal on the table.

And it doesn't change, even in Sydney.

You guys love roast chicken. You do. You must remember that you were'nt fussy when it comes to having roast chicken for dinner or lunch. It doesn't matter if it's Cole's or Woolies, or Galo's or Nando's or Oporto. You just love roast chicken. Period. I guess most kids do. Whether its fried, breaded, roast, baked, barbequed - chicken is the all-time favourite food to feed little people.

This week, I tried doing home-made roast chicken using Jamie Oliver's recipe (taken from the TV show Naked Chef). The recipe was just passed on to me like a whisper, or like an sms. No actual measurements, no specifications on the instrument/equipment to be used, no specific temperature. Big brother passed on the recipe to me, casually in one of our family dinners months back. And since I had this 1.5kg whole chicken in the freezer, I thought why not just do the whole thing-a-ma-jig, instead of cutting it up (which I'm not good at, especially with a whole chicken) into bite-size pieces and marinating and coating with crumbs and frying or baking.... Whew! Roasting a whole chicken sounds daunting and labourious.

I've realised it isn't. It takes just as long as marinating some steaks and setting them on the grill. Or seasoning some pork chops or chicken drumsticks and frying them on the pan. I must admit the cooking time does take a little bit of patience, but its worth it.

So this is a razmatazz of a recipe - made with hunch, instinct, gut-feel, common sense and heaps of love.

When you get your chance to try this, use what I used: the basic ingredients plus all of the above.

The basics:

1 whole chicken (Cooking time varies of course, depending on the weight/size. Normal cooking time should be 25-30 minutes for every 500g or 1hr for 1k and so on. This also depends on the type of oven used of course, so you will need a lot of your gut-feel and common sense here.)

salt and pepper (add lots of instinct here, as what I did was simply put together some of each together in bowl)

garlic (a whole piece, about 6-7 cloves), pounded and diced

rose mary (fresh is better, but I reckon dried would do just as well), several stalks

olive oil (about 1/4 cup)

1 whole lemon

Sides : potatoes and carrots, cubed

I don't want to think of this as hodgepodge, but this was what I did. Mixed together the salt and pepper, garlic, rose mary and olive oil in bowl.

Placed the chicken in a large shallow bowl and rubbed the olive oil mixture into the chicken.

Stuffed the chicken with the lemon and several stalks of rose mary. I let this sit for about 30 minutes.

Place the chicken on a roasting pan, with the side veggies (potatoes and carrots) underneath. (The veggies got half-toasted, so I think the veggies should be put in midway through the chicken being cooked.

Voila! Roast chicken ala rose mary.

Remember, this is best served witih roasted veggies too! You guys loved this, but you said it wasn't as finger-lickin good as commercial ones, so I need to perfect this in future dinners. Although the smell was absolutely enchanting! Seriously!

And so, while we still reminisce of Andok's, here is an easy roast chicken family recipe, which hopefully you will also try and learn and pass on with a whisper. Don't forget the magic ingredients!

Don't you just love chicken!?!

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