The perfect Sunday dinner

28 November 2018

Every now and then I want to roast a chicken on a Sunday night. It's usually a sign that things have been busier than usual, and that comfort food is needed. This salt and pepper roast chicken is super easy and delicious. It comes from The New York Times and food blogger Molly Yeh described it as a magical recipe on Radio Cherry Bombe because all you do is season the chicken the night before and then roast it.

I happened to make mine right after watching the Heat episode of Salt, Fat, Acid Heat. So I took the chicken out of the fridge an hour or so before cooking, to let it come to room temperature, and cooked it with the drumsticks facing the back and it came out super tender, with extra-crispy skin. Success!

It accidentally became an awesome dinner because I also needed to make Hetty McKinnon's roast caprese salad before the weekend was up. I'd commissioned the recipe for ABC Life, and always try them before they're published, because it helps with the editing process.

While the meal feels fancy, I made the salad in the afternoon, as part of my regular Sunday lunch prep for the week and then  assembled it at the last minute, while the chicken was cooling. Buying mozzarella always makes me cringe (it costs a bomb!) but it made the salad hearty enough that we could just eat it with the chicken, no potatoes needed.

Finally, dessert. Crumble is one of my all time favourite comfort foods and this one is extra special. I am lucky enough to work with Thalia Ho, who writes a beautiful baking blog Butter & Brioche. She writes a monthly baking column for ABC Life.

When we were brainstorming recipes earlier this year, I mentioned an amazing summer crumble I had on the last night of a south coast holiday. It couldn't remember exactly what was in it, only the fruit was lighter than usual and that it was floral.

Thalia came up with this pear and blueberry crumble with earl grey tea leaves and lemon zest mixed into the topping. I thought my sister-in-law's apple crumble was the only recipe I'd ever need in that department, but this one is crazy good. The pear goes super soft, and the filling goes a deep purple colour as the blueberries cook. It was also a good excuse to buy some take away vanilla ice cream from the gelato shop in town.

We've just figured out that Christmas will be spent in Canberra this year, with my whole family visiting! Every now and then I think about what we might eat, and this whole dinner is an option in my mind. Maybe with Christmas cake at the end instead of crumble. In any case, I highly recommend all three dishes individually - and eaten together, you'll probably go to bed very happy.

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