Daily Archive: March 24, 2005

Bread Sauce

Bread sauce is one of the great, classic sauces, but I think it has
suffered from either not being made properly or – worst of all – being made from a mix or packet. The real thing is beautifully creamy and the perfect accompaniment to chicken or turkey.

bread sauce


4 oz (110 g) freshly made white breadcrumbs (a two-day-old white loaf with crusts removed will be hard enough to grate, but the best way to make the crumbs is in a liquidiser, if you have one)

1 large onion
15-18 whole cloves or freshly grated nutmeg
1 bay leaf
8 black peppercorns
1 pint (570 ml) breakfast milk
2 oz (50 g) butter
2 tablespoons double cream
salt and freshly milled black pepper


Cut the onion in half and stick the cloves in it – how many you use is a personal matter; I happen to like a pronounced flavour of clove. If you don’t like them at all, you can use some freshly grated nutmeg instead. Place the onion – studded with cloves – plus the bay leaf and the peppercorns, in a saucepan together with the milk. Add some salt then bring everything up to boiling point. Take off the heat, cover the pan and leave in a warm place for the milk to infuse for two hours or more.

When you’re ready to make the sauce, remove the onion, bay leaf and peppercorns and keep them on one side. Stir the breadcrumbs into the milk and add 1 oz (25 g) of the butter. Leave the saucepan on a very low heat, stirring now and then, until the crumbs have swollen and thickened the sauce – about 15 minutes. Now replace the clove-studded onion, the bay leaf and the peppercorns and again leave the pan in a warm place until the sauce is needed.

Just before serving, remove the onion and spices. Reheat gently then beat in the remaining butter and the cream and taste to check the seasoning. Pour into a warm serving jug.


1. To make enough for eight people, halve a large onion and stick

bread sauce

cloves into each half (how many you use is a matter of personal taste – I suggest 15-18. If you don’t like them at all, use some freshly grated nutmeg instead). Place the onion halves in a saucepan with a bay leaf, 8 black peppercorns, 1 pint (570 ml) of creamy milk and some salt. Bring everything up to simmering point, remove from the heat, put the lid on and leave everything to infuse for at least 2 hours.

2. When you are ready to make the bread sauce, remove the onion, bay leaf and, if you can, the peppercorns, with a draining spoon.

bread sauce

Keep the onion to one side, as you may want to put it back into the finished sauce for extra flavour.

3. Stir 4 oz (110 g) freshly made white breadcrumbs into the milk

bread sauce

and add 1 oz (25 g) butter. Stir over a low heat to melt the butter and thicken the sauce slightly – this will take about 15 minutes.

4. After that, you can add the onion back in, to give the sauce extra flavour. Leave the sauce in the pan in a warm place until you are

bread sauce

ready to serve it. Just before serving, remove the onion and spices. Re-heat the sauce gently then beat in another 1 oz (25 g) of butter and 2 tablespoons of double cream. Taste to check the seasoning. Pour into a warmed serving jug.

Easter Roast Chicken

Here I am again…empty headed. I’m not lasing ha or whatever but I really have nothing to write about me and my family at the moment. Simply because walang bagong pangyayari. I’m only busy completing my PINAY-EXPATS PORTAL site. There’s nothing new to mention here, what I did was just transfering all the files manually onto my new server.

Anyways, since it’s easter time I would like to contribute a recipe for this occassion. Makikigaya na rin sa ako sa ibang bloggers for a change.

roast chicken

Traditional Roast Chicken
With Apple, Sage and Onion Stuffing, Cranberry and Sage Sauce and Chicken-giblet Gravy


For the roast chicken:

1 x 5-6 lb (2.25-2.7 kg) Traditional Free Range chicken
2 oz (50 g) butter, at room temperature
8 rashers traditionally cured smoked streaky bacon
salt and freshly milled black pepper

For the apple, sage and onion stuffing:

1 dessert apple, cored and quartered
1 heaped tablespoon fresh sage leaves
1 small onion, peeled and quartered
4 oz (110 g) fresh white bread, crusts removed
1 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves
reserved chicken livers from the giblets
8 oz (225 g) minced pork or good-quality pork sausage meat (I often use skinned sausages)
1/4 teaspoon ground mace
salt and freshly milled black pepper

For the cranberry and sage sauce:

6 level tablespoons Ocean Spray cranberry jelly
2 dessertspoons chopped fresh sage
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
a few fresh parsley stalks
salt and freshly grind black pepper

For the chicken-giblet gravy:

8 oz (225 g) frozen chicken giblets (reserving the livers for the stuffing), thoroughly defrosted
1 medium carrot, roughly chopped
1/2 onion
sprig fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 rounded tablespoons plain flour
salt and freshly milled black pepper

*You will also need a flameproof roasting tin measuring 10 x 14 inches (25.5 x 35 cm), 2 inches (5 cm) deep.

Apple, Sage and Onion Stuffing

If you have a food processor, making stuffing is a doddle: all you do is switch the motor on, add the pieces of bread and process to crumbs, then add the parsley, sage, apple and onion quarters and process till everything is finely chopped. Next trim any sinewy bits from the chicken livers, rinse under cold water, pat them dry, then add them, together with the sausage meat, mace and seasoning. Give a few pulses in the processor until it is all thoroughly blended, remove the stuffing from the processor with a spatula, then place in a polythene bag and store in the fridge until it is required. If you’re doing this by hand, just finely chop all the ingredients, combine in a bowl and refrigerate as above.

Roast Chicken

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5, 375°F (190°C).

First of all the chicken needs to be stuffed, and to do this you begin at the neck end, where you’ll find a flap of loose skin: gently loosen this away from the breast and you’ll be able to make a triangular pocket. Pack about two-thirds of the stuffing inside, as far as you can go, and make a neat round shape on the outside, then tuck the neck flap under the bird’s back and secure it with a small skewer or cocktail stick. Take the remaining stuffing and place it in the body cavity (the fat in the pork will melt and help to keep the bird moist inside). Now place the chicken in the roasting tin and smear the butter over the chicken using your hands and making sure you don’t leave any part of the surface unbuttered.

Season the chicken all over with salt and black pepper, then arrange 7 slices of the bacon, slightly overlapping, in a row along the breast. Cut the last rasher in half and place one piece on each leg. I like to leave the rind on the bacon for extra flavour, but you can remove it if you prefer.

Place the chicken in the oven on the centre shelf and cook for 20 minutes per lb (450 g), plus 10-20 minutes extra – this will be 1 hour and 50 minutes to 2 hours for a 5 lb (2.25 kg) bird, or 2 hours 10 minutes to 2 hours 20 minutes for a 6 lb (2.7 kg) bird. The chicken is cooked if the juices run clear when the thickest part of the leg is pierced with a skewer. It is important to baste the chicken at least 3 times during the cooking – spooning over the juices mingling with the bacon fat and butter helps to keep the flesh succulent.

During the last basting (about half an hour before the chicken is cooked), remove the now-crisp bacon slices and keep them warm. If they are not crisp, just leave them around the chicken to finish off. For the final 15
minutes of cooking, hike the heat up to gas mark 7, 425°F (220°C), which will give the skin that final golden crispiness.

When the chicken is cooked it is important to leave it in the warm kitchen (near the oven), covered in foil, for 30 minutes, which will allow it to relax. This is because when the chicken is cooking all the juices bubble up to the surface (if you look inside the oven you will actually see this happening just under the skin), and what relaxing does is allow time for all these precious juices to seep back into the flesh. It also makes it much easier to carve. When you serve the chicken, make sure everyone gets some crispy bacon and stuffing. Serve with the Chicken Giblet Gravy and Cranberry and Sage Sauce.

For the Chicken-Giblet Gravy

Simply place the giblets, 11/2 pints (850 ml) water, carrot, onion, herbs, peppercorns and salt in a medium-sized saucepan and simmer very gently with the lid almost on for 2 hours. Then strain this stock into a jug and cool and chill in the fridge. Any fat on the surface is easily removed when cold. To make the gravy, after removing the chicken from the roasting tin, tilt the tin and remove most of the fat, which you will see separates quite clearly from the juices – you need to leave about 2 tablespoons of fat behind. Now place the roasting tin over direct heat turned to fairly low, and when the juices begin to sizzle, sprinkle in the plain flour, stirring vigorously till you get a smooth paste, then add the giblet stock, little by little, exchanging the wooden spoon for a whisk. Whisk thoroughly until all the stock is incorporated, bring the whole lot up to simmering point, then taste and season with salt and freshly milled black pepper.

For the Cranberry and Sage Sauce

All you do here is combine everything in a small saucepan and whisk over a gentle heat until the cranberry jelly has melted. Then pour the sauce into a serving jug and leave till needed (it doesn’t need re-heating – it’s served at room temperature). Although I love to serve this sauce in summer, in winter my favorite accompaniment is Traditional Bread Sauce.