Food | The ovenless sunday roast dinner
We’ve all been at university for a few months now and the first term is already starting to take its toll. You’re stranded in your bombsite of a kitchen facing your seventh helping of beans a la toast. Even a pub carvery is out of budget and in catered halls you don’t even have an oven. Fear not! My brilliantly cheap Sunday roast will be just the trick to stave off the home sickness until Christmas and all without an oven! Everything you see here has been created using just three rings of an electric hob and a toaster, there’s even the North’s poison – delicious gravy.
Ingredients (Serves one:
• Knob of butter
• 1 OXO chicken stock cube
• 3-4 tbsp of plain flour (half for thickening, half for flouring the chicken)
• Chicken leg/thigh/chest (I used Sainsbury’s Basics frozen, at £4.38 for 2.5kg)
• Frozen yorkshire puddings (Sainsbury’s Basics, 60p)
• Frozen peas (any vegetables will do)
• Frozen broccoli
• 3-4 White potatoes, cubed
• Salt and pepper
• A saucepan
• One large frying pan
• A sauté pan (or deep frying pan for chicken).
• A toaster
•A mug and a jug
• Put a full kettle on to boil. Dice potatoes into cubes and set aside.
• Pour around a litre of water into jug and add oxo cube to create a stock. Pour more hot water into saucepan and let it come to the boil, this will be for the potatoes.
• Meanwhile heat the knob of butter in sauté pan and add chicken. Cook on a medium-high heat to brown the skins until lightly golden. Add the stock, cover and simmer on a medium-high heat, turning pieces occasionally.
• Add the potatoes to the saucepan and cover for 10 minutes until they are very soft. Boil another kettle of water for the vegetables.
• The chicken should be simmering away, cooking softly through, while the sauce should also be starting to thicken.
• Add plain flour to a mug and a half of warm water. Mix into a thick paste. This will help to thicken the stock into gravy.
• Now put the large frying pan on the largest hob ring, set at maximum. Add layer of oil to the pan and heat thoroughly. Once the potatoes are cooked drain them and dry as much possible. Now add them to the oil and turn often to brown all over.
• Get the saucepan used to boil the potatoes and add the hot water from the kettle. This will be for the vegetables. Bring to the boil.
• By this stage the chicken should be cooked. Remove it from the stock and place on a kitchen towel to dry. Stir some of the flour/water paste into the stock bit by bit. The stock should start to thicken. Once you’ve got it to a gravy consistency, place and place on a kitchen towel to dry. Stir some of the flour/water paste into the stock bit by bit. The stock should start to thicken. Once you’ve got it to a gravy consistency, place in a jug.
• Rinse out the sauté pan, add oil and place back on the heat. By this time your potatoes will start to look golden, so you need to finish up the rest of the meal fast.
• Place the vegetables in your pan of boiling water.
Mix flour with ground pepper and salt and cover the chicken pieces to create a simple coating. Fry pieces on all side for that elusive crispy skin.
• Now comes the Yorkshire puddings. They’ll only take 2-3 minutes but it’s easy to burn them/set fire to your toaster! Place the puddings on your toaster’s bagel rack, if it has one, upside down and on a medium-high setting. It may take two ‘dings’ to crisp them up nicely. It also helps if you take them out of the freezer early so they have time to defrost.
• If your toaster doesn’t have a rack, place them over the slots, on the lowest setting to prevent a massive inferno. Try them for one ‘ding’. Meanwhile you should be turning the chicken in the pan to crisp up the skin all over.
• Pop the gravy in the microwave for a few seconds to warm through again.
• Toss the potatoes, they should now be golden and crispy all over. Drain off the oil and set aside to cool. Drain the vegetables once cooked and plate up.
You can also read Nick’s recipe for a Six-Minute Stir Fry here.