Maureen: Sunday lunch starring roast chicken! My favourite!
Nicholas (10): I love roast chicken. I bagsy* one of the legs. (For those readers among us who are unfamiliar with this fantastic British word, it means “claim”.)
Tim: I get the other one.
Maureen: Fair enough. What does everyone think?
Andrew: I’m not sure about the carrots.
Maureen: When you say, “not sure,” do you really mean, “I don’t like.”
Andrew (14): Well, no. Before I wasn’t sure. But now that I’ve had a few bites, I now know I mean I don’t like them.
Nicholas: I don’t like them either, and you know how much I like carrots.
Maureen: What don’t you like about them. Is it all the orange zest?
Nicholas: I guess so. I just prefer the other type you always make.
Maureen: OK. I’ll go back to the usual way the next time. I’ve been making that version, with carrots and honey, for years. That’s a Jamie recipe too. (Important note: I spent a good amount of time following this Sunday lunch trying to find exactly what Jamie book our beloved carrot recipe is from, but to no avail. So I’m pretty sure it’s a Jamie recipe, but now I have to proof to back it up. This is the problem with having more than 150 cookbooks. Things can get muddled over time.)
Tim: The chicken is good, but I can’t see how it’s much different from any other roast chicken we’ve had over the years.
Maureen: I think the ability to be creative with a roast chicken recipe is somewhat limited. This version is fine and it works. The good thing about it, particularly for less confident cooks, is it includes directions on all the side vegetables to have with it. That’s a nice touch.
Nicholas: Other than the carrots, which we already decided we didn’t like.
Maureen: Fair enough. (Looking at the nearly empty serving platter). There’s one problem with this recipe though: We’re supposed to get two meals out of it.
Tim: Ha! Well, we do have a teenage boy at the table, and we are greedy when it comes to roast chicken, so maybe that’s the difference.
Cook’s Notes: Once I followed Jamie’s instructions to the letter, I realised that amendments were going to have to be made, otherwise we were going to end up having a variation of brown water on top of our chicken. So after I added just plain water, and tasted the flavourless “gravy,” I added the necessary amount of chicken stock cubes. So if you do make this, don’t add 600 ml of boiling water, add 600ml of chicken stock. You can thank me later.)