Arrrhhhh - the trauma of this weekend. I read Harry Potter all day Saturday (fantastic) and finished at 9pm. The problem then was that no one I knew had finished reading it (they still haven't) and I wasn't able to discuss it with anyone - I can't begin to imagine how JK Rowling managed to keep it all a secret for 10 years. Anyway a big thumbs up from me for the whole series and particularly the last book which I loved!
Yesterday, we painted our chicken coup red and white so it looks like an american barn. Progress is being made on the run so it should only be a few weeks now until the new hens arrive.
With spare time yesterday that I wasn't expecting, I cooked a nice Sunday lunch of Roast chicken stuffed with mushrooms:
Wild Mushroom Roast Chicken
1 whole chicken
200grams cream or mascapone cheese
150grams grated mushrooms
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp dried porchini mushrooms soaked in boiling water and Marsala wine.
Salt and Pepper for seasoning
400ml Marsala wine
2 tbsp cream fraiche
Begin by making the mushroom stuffing. Cook the grated mushrooms in a frying pan in the butter. Season well. Finely chop the porchini mushrooms and add them to the pan (reserve the soaking liquor for the sauce). Cook until the mushrooms have gone dark and smell woody and earthy. Leave aside to cool. When the mushrooms are cool mix them into the cream cheese and season. You could add other flavourings at this stage (chopped chives, lemon rind etc if you wished). Using a flat hand ease your hand between the skin and the body of the chicken so that you have a pocket across the top of the bird. Fill this pocket with the stuffing (the easiest way is to use a piping bag but a spoon works OK too). Brush the chicken with olive oil and place in a hot oven for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, pour over 200ml of the Marsala wine. Cook the chicken following the directions on the pack that came with the chicken. The chicken is cooked when you pierce the flesh with a knife and the juices run out clean. When the chicken is cooked, remove from the oven and set aside. Place the roasting tray with the juices from cooking over the heat, add the remaining Marsala and some of the mushroom soaking liquor and allow to simmer. Season to taste. Stir in the cream fraiche and continue to heat gently until the sauce thickens. Serve with new potatoes and roasted vegetables with the sauce poured over.