Sunday, January 30, 2011

Traditional British Food: Roast Chicken

This roast chicken recipe makes not only a tasty chicken, but also some of the yummiest roast potatoes ever.  The best part?  The whole thing is really easy.  You'll notice we just left the neck on.  We don't eat it, but it goes in the bag of stock parts.  If the chicken looks funny to you, it's because the breast is really small.  It's from our farm share--this chickie got to run around outside. Use 3/4 pounds of potatoes per person.  However, if you want to make a chicken pot pie with leftovers (stay tuned for Vintage Recipe Thursday), go ahead and cook enough potatoes for that, as well, and store the extras in the refrigerator.  You'll need about 3/4 lb for two people for the chicken pie. Roast Chicken Serve with a green vegetable, like Buttery Cabbage (in photo below), Perfect Steamed Broccoli*, Buttered Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, or Lemon Butter Green Beans.

Binnie Hale, image from Internet Archive

Binnie Hale performed on the West End in the 1920s (she was in No, No, Nanette), recorded popular music and starred in a handful of films in the 1930s, playing characters with lots of spunk.

As far as I know, the only Binnie Hale film on DVD is The Phantom Light, on the compilation DVD, Classic British Thrillers.  The Phantom Light is a fun (if rather unremarkable) movie co-starring Gordon Harker and directed by Michael Powell.  Hyde Park Corner, another fun-if-rather-unremarkable film co-starring Gordon Harker, is available on Netflix Watch Instantly.  The best film I was able to find is Love From a Stranger, available below from Internet Archive, where Binnie Hale plays best friend to Ann Harding's character, who has married a man (Basil Rathbone) with a dark past.

"Spread a Little Happiness"-- The second track on the playlist has better sound, despite the scratches.  The first track sounds like it was recorded underwater.

"A Nice Cup of Tea"

"Who" (with Jack Buchanan)

"As Time Goes By"

*Perfect Steamed Broccoli

Serves 2

1 broccoli crown
1 tablespoon butter
salt & pepper

Break up the broccoli crown into florets and steam 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, melt the butter over low heat, season to taste with salt and pepper.  Pour over the steamed broccoli.

Adapted from this recipe.


  1. Thanks for the lovely comment, I shall bookmark this recipe, I really need to learn to cook more stuff!
    From Carys of La Ville Inconnue

  2. You have a chicken farm! It's been year since I've eaten chicken, it's the cheapeast meat in Mexico = full of hormones. But, this one, I'd snatch in a sec!

  3. Carys- this really is one of the easiest dinners to make. All it takes is a bit of advanced planning, since it cooks for a long time.

    Iz bakinog ormara- We just have a farm share/CSA. We bought shares in a local farm and then we get a certain amount of meat and produce in return. I'm not good with animals or physical labor, so I don't think I'd be a very good farmer! Chicken is also really cheap in American grocery stores, but it's also full of hormones and they live really awful lives, which makes me sad, so I had to find an alternative source for chickens!

  4. This looks easy and delicious. I love the fact that you are able to get chicken from your farm share. That is really great.
    But, I really want to tell you that I just love how you add in movie and song clips to your posts. They are so fascinating. And I am totally with you on your thing with vintage cookbooks. Have you ever read a book called Victorian Cakes, a memoir by Caroline King? A wonderful book that I think you would love.
    I am awarding you the stylish blogger award on my blog. Participate as much or as little (or not at all), as you wish, I just wanted to let you know how much I am enjoying your posts and wanted to give you a shout-out.

  5. This looks awesome! I love a good roast chicken. I have looked into CSA/farmshares here in LA, but have yet to join one.... This a great reminder to revisit the idea.

  6. Mmmm, looks wonderful! I'm loving this food-vintage music combination!


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