I am a self proclaimed Anglophile. I love The Great British Bake Off, I casually online-stalk the Royal family, and I am passionate about tea. One of the best British traditions? The Sunday Roast. While I am sadly not in The Cotswolds and don't have access to those charming English pubs, that doesn't mean I can't eat as though I'm in a charming English pub. Today's menu is inspired by simple country fare, ideal for a cozy Sunday at home with your loved ones.
From start to finish, this menu took me roughly 3 hours to prepare. I totally get that this is too much time in the kitchen for some. I prepared every element myself, but that is by no means necessary. You could pick up a rotisserie chicken from your local deli, or buy dessert instead of making it.
Roast butternut squash. Set aside to cool. Turn oven up to 425 degrees.
Prepare and roast chicken.
Assemble puff pastry and apples. Refrigerate.
Take chicken out to rest. Turn oven down to 375 degrees.
Turn oven up to 400 degrees. Sprinkle tart with sugar and butter. Bake (it's ok if oven isn't exactly 400).
Finish tart with apricot glaze and serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
This rice medley was a new-to-me recipe. Roasted butternut squash, brown rice, marcona almonds, and dried cranberries are tossed in a citrus vinaigrette. The salty almonds and sharpness from the chive garnish balances out the sweetness in the dressing and cranberries. It is hearty and satisfying, and paired nicely with roasted chicken. I cut the squash into smaller pieces than the recipe called for, as I like them a little charred and crispy. This recipe makes a lot of rice and could easily be halved.
Get the Recipe: Barefoot Contessa Warm Brown Rice & Butternut Squash
Roasted broccolini was one of the first dishes I cooked while I was in college. It's slightly bitter (in a good way), and simply delicious with only salt, pepper, and olive oil. The broccolini only takes 15 minutes to roast, so pop it into the oven once the chicken comes out to rest.
Get the Recipe: Barefoot Contessa Roasted Broccolini
The star of a Sunday Roast: The Roast (duh). Ina Garten's perfect roast chicken is appropriately named, as it turns out perfectly every single time. The first time I made this recipe, I was apprehensive, but the recipe is easy to follow and the finished product is delicious. The chicken is stuffed with lemons, garlic, and thyme, and then the outside is brushed with butter, so the chicken browns nicely. I've experimented with different veggies around the bird and have found that onions and carrots are the best. Be sure to save the chicken carcass for stock (aka liquid gold).
Get the Recipe: Barefoot Contessa Perfect Roast Chicken
On a whim, I picked up fresh figs from Trader Joe's. I love figs and sometimes have a hard time finding them. I was thinking about using them in a dessert but decided to serve them as a fresh side.
I've learned so much while cooking for this blog. One of the most important tips I've picked up is the power of the word "rustic." That homemade cake is not sloppy and lopsided, it's ~rustic.~ Oh, the finish is coming off the outdoor table? How rustic. It instantly elevates anything that's maybe less than perfect (😉). Which brings us to dessert: a ~rustic~ French Apple Tart. As far as desserts go, this is pretty simple. You lay thinly-sliced apples over the pastry, sprinkle with sugar, dot with butter, and bake. When the tart comes out, brush warm apricot preserves over the top. The first time I made this, I was not impressed when it came out of the oven, but once you brush the preserves over the top, it instantly elevates the look. My sad and lopsided tart became a rustic (See? There's that word again!) country dessert.
Ina's recipe has instructions for making pastry but I opted to use frozen puff pastry instead. If you take the puff pastry shortcut, you'll only need two large apples, not four. While the recipe calls for 1/2 cup of sugar, I added closer to 1/8 cup of sugar. The apples release natural sugars while they bake and the apricot preserves add sweetness. Since I served the tart with vanilla ice cream, I didn't want it to be overly sweet.
Get the Recipe: Barefoot Contessa French Apple Tart
Get the Look:
I wanted the table to reflect the simple country food. I started to pull out a table cloth but opted out, as I like how the wood of the kitchen table looks against the woven chargers and white china. (This also meant that I didn't have to iron a tablecloth - win-win.) Herringbone woven napkins and amber smoke colored wine glasses completed the look. Pop some colorful sunflowers into the center and the table is set.
Thanks for reading!