Regular readers would have gathered by now that I am very keen on a roast chicken as an easy family dinner. And I am loathe to mess with a good thing. But sometimes a little mess is a good thing (I've been arguing that point for decades now). And today I have found an addition for roast chicken, if you want to mess with it, that really makes the bird sing. Unlikely as it sounds, this magical addition is bread sauce from Mr Neil Perry? I know it looks like nothing special (apart from my poor photography skills, a camera crisis involving a leaking water bottle is to blame), but it is really wonderful.
In my mind, bread sauce is one of those ultra-traditional recipes that belongs with Yorkshire pudding as part of the English culinary heritage that never really arrived in Australia. I have made bread sauce before, but a slightly odd version with horseradish and melted cranberry jelly as the base, to serve with Christmas turkey. This version, which comes from "The Food I Love"
is beautifully introduced by Perry; he describes his first taste prompting him to wonder, "how could something so wonderful taste so good?" I can only agree.
80g day-old white bread
1 brown onion studded with 2 cloves
2 fresh bay leaves (I used dried)
1 mace blade (I forgot to buy)
500 ml milk
100 ml cream
Remover the crusts from the bread, then whiz it in the food processor until it forms crumbs. Put the onion, mace, bay leaves and milk in a small saucepan so the milk covers the onion. Bring to the boil. Stir in the bread crumbs and simmer gently for 20 mins, stirring occasionally. Remove onion and spices and add the cream, then cook again for 5 mins. Remove from heat, then whisk in butter. Season to taste. Serve with any roasted poultry.