It’s been a while I know, but it’s been a busy time in La Cucina as it was rag week in UL last week and the Munster rugby team have returned to training so although I may not have been cooking at home I’ve been slaving away in the shop. Our pizza chef decided to walk out in the middle of  it all, he said he was going to the bank on his break and never came back, great to see people appreciating their jobs in the middle of a recession but that’s the way the catering industry goes so the hunt is on for a new pizzaiola!

It was an exciting week in La Cucina with the return of the Grand Slam heroes, Paul O’Connell was in everyday, he must have missed us while he was away;) They all came to eat one afternoon which caused great excitement outside the shop – the usual suspects were in at different stages – Paul O’Connell, Gerry Flannery, Alan Quinlan,  Marcus Horan, John Hayes but then the Cork contingent arrived, Donnacha O’Callaghan and RONAN O’GARA walked in and I even got excited as they are rarely in. When they left the shop the car park went crazy with everybody beeping at them and shouting congratulations, it’s rare to see them all together going about their daily life so it was pretty exciting for all the Castletroy residents. I wanted to take a photo but they get so harassed by everybody I didn’t want to be annoying them while they were eating so I’ll wait until the fame calms down a bit.

With working so much we rarely get to have friends over for dinner so Sunday lunch is the most we can do, I tend to prefer a rare rib of beef for Sunday lunch but for some reason all of our Irish friends are chicken or well done beef lovers so this is the recipe I always cook to be on the safe side. Surprisingly we had Italian friends over on St Patrick’s day and they don’t eat red meat so once again I served this roast chicken recipe and they loved it! Everybody has their own roast chicken recipe and I used to always cook the lemon, rosemary and garlic combination but I much prefer this one now, mustard is great for adding flavour, I use it for my rib of beef  with red wine gravy recipe too which I will post at some stage in the future.

what you need:

1 whole chicken – organic all the way for me.

1 pack of shallots peeled – about 8

500ml chicken stock – I probably only use about 200 – 300mls  but I use the new Knorr stock pots so it makes this amount.

100mls white wine

sea salt and black pepper

mustard – any type

olive oil

what to do:

drizzle a little olive oil in the base of your oven dish and rub the mustard all over the chicken and season:













add your shallots and pour your wine over your chicken:














add your stock, pour over your chicken to keep it moist and cook for about 1 hour and 15 mins depending on the size of the chicken. Baste with the juices every 15-20 mins to keep the chicken moist and to prevent it burning. Add more stock if your tray becomes dry.














I didn’t take any photos of the gravy but I basically pour the cooking juices into a pan, add a little more stock and about a tbsp of flour and stir over a medium heat for a couple of mins. If you have any lumps just strain through a sieve and serve. You may notice my expensive oven trays above, I’m not one for fancy ovenware or pots so I usually use foil trays when having guests over as there is enough washing up to do without having a load of oven trays too so all my roasting of meat, veg and potatoes are done in these trays – the le crueset from Tk Maxx stay in the press:)