Christmas Dinner on a budget
877 kcals per serving
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 2 carrots, roughly chopped
- 1 whole chicken, 1.6kg
- 25g butter, softened
Heat the oven to 190C/170 fan/ gas 5. Have a shelf in the middle of the oven without any shelves above it.
Scatter 1 roughly chopped onion and 2 roughly chopped carrots over the base of a roasting tin that fits the whole chicken in but doesn’t overcrowd it.
Season the cavity of the chicken liberally with salt and pepper, then stuff with 2 lemon halves (and a small bunch of thyme if you have it).
Set the chicken on top of the vegetables and smother it with the butter and season with salt and pepper.
Place in the oven and leave undisturbed for 1 hr 30 mins – to check the chicken is cooked, pierce the thigh with a skewer and the juices should run clear.
Once cooked, remove the chicken from the oven, remove from the tray and leave to rest. Reserve the tray with all the juices as this will make your gravy.
Roasted Potatoes & Parsnips
- 750g potatoes, peeled and chopped into large chunks
- 2 parsnips, peeled and chopped into large chunks
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
Pour vegetable oil into a large roasting tin and place in a preheated oven 200C/180 fan/ 6 gas.
Meanwhile, put all your chopped potatoes and parsnips in a pan of cold water, then bring to the boil. Boil for exactly 3 minutes, then drain well. Scatter over the flour and toss to coat the veg.
Remove the roasting tin from the oven and carefully place your veg in the tin and return to the oven for 1 hour, turning them over halfway through cooking. Cook until golden and crisp.
Charred Buttery Sprouts
- 50g butter, softened
- 250g sprouts, halved
Boil the sprouts for 3-4 mins, then drain and leave to steam dry. Heat a non-stick frying pan, then add the sprouts and dry fry them for 4-5 mins or until they start to blacken on the cut sides and at the edges. Take the pan off the heat, then add a large knob of butter. Sizzle in the pan until the butter has melted and shake the pan gently to coat the sprouts. Season with salt and pepper.
Carrot and Swede Mash
- 3 carrots, peeled and cut into slices
- 1 swede, peeled and cut into cubes
- 25g softened butter, or 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 lemon, zest
Simmer the carrots and swede over medium-high heat for 30 mins until the swede is tender when pierced with a fork. Drain well and return to the pan.
Meanwhile, mash the butter with a fork in a bowl (or pour in the oil), then add a few grinds of black pepper and lemon zest.
Blitz the carrot and swede with a stick blender to a smooth mash, or mash with a potato masher. Stir in half the butter or oil, then top with the remainder to serve.
Braised Red Cabbage with apple
- 1/2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 red cabbage, core removed and shredded
- 1 large apple, cored, peeled and sliced
- 15g sugar
- Orange zest, a couple of strips
- 2 tbsp red wine
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar/apple cider vinegar
Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.
Heat the butter in a heavy ovenproof dish, then layer up the red cabbage, apples, brown sugar, seasoning well as you go. Tuck in some orange peel and put the pan over high heat and add the water and the apple cider vinegar.
Bring to the boil and cook for 3-4 minutes. Place a lid on the pan then transfer to the oven for an hour. Check on it a couple of times to make sure the liquid hasn’t dried out and add a splash of water if needed.
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 250ml chicken stock
Place the roasting tin over a low flame, then stir in 1 tbsp flour and sizzle until you have a light brown paste.
Gradually pour in 250ml chicken stock, stirring continuously until your sauce has thickened.
Simmer for 2 minutes, using a wooden spoon to stir, scraping any sticky bits from the tin.
Strain the gravy into a small saucepan, then simmer and season to taste.
Get creative with your leftovers with this Leftover Chicken Stir-Fry
- Leftover chicken
- 2 leeks, sliced
- 2 peppers, any colour, sliced
- 1 red chilli or 1 tsp chilli flakes
- Thumb-sized piece of ginger grated or 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tbsp oil
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp honey
- Lemon, juiced
- 200g noodles, fresh or dried
If using dried noodles, place into a bowl and pour over boiling water from the kettle. Set aside.
Put a wok or large frying pan over high heat. Once it’s hot, add the oil, followed by the leeks, peppers, chilli and ginger. Keep stirring for 5 minutes until everything starts to soften.
Turn down the heat and add the roast chicken. Cook for 30 seconds and then add the soy, honey and lemon juice.
Drain the noodles and add a little bit of water to the wok to create a sauce. Stir in the noodles, remove from the heat and serve.