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Chicken, Gravy, Love

March 22, 2014 | By | No Comments

Yolanda de Groot, International founder/ Managing Director of
Michael Adam, Finance Professional

Michael and I are both from Sydney, Australia where we were good friends for many years.  Fate brought us together in London in 2012. We both moved relocated and it wasn’t long until our friendship would take an unexpected turn, and we were engaged within a year. London is a unique and exciting place to live. We both share the same passion for food and travel and we have so much fun exploring the city we now call home!

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Sunday roast is a ritual at our home in London, its the one day of the week we spend the day provisioning at Portobello road and relax at home while we put together a great dish with the lots of fresh produce.

180 degree/ 1 hr 30 mins
Whole chicken
X 8 springs of Thyme leaves
100g butter
6 x baby Carrots
X 8 potatoes

450g rustic seeded bread broken into pieces
6 tablesp. fresh parsley chopped
2 tablesp. fresh thyme chopped
1 medium onion, cut into quarters
Salt and black pepper
100g – 150g butter, softened

Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas.
To make the stuffing

Place the bread, parsley, thyme and onion in a food processor. Process until you have fine breadcrumbs and the onion is finely chopped. Remove to a bowl, season and mix in the butter.

To stuff the chicken

In a mortar and pestle, mash the butter with thyme leaves, and add salt and pepper. Place the chicken breast side up and use your hands to loosen the skin away from the breast, flattening the butter and rubbing with your other hand all over the outside of the chicken on both sides.

To make the Gravy

With a spoon, skim and reserve the fat from the drippings. Pour 1/4 cup of the fat into a saucepan, cook until golden brown. Add 1/4 cup of sieved all-purpose flour into the fat in the saucepan, stirring constantly. Slowly add the chicken broth. Bring to a boil and reduce heat until thickened about 2-3 minutes.

1: What is your criteria for chosing your food shops? Being close to Notting Hill and Portobello markets, we do all our shopping there on Saturdays, often riding our bikes and filling up our baskets and back-pack with food provisions. Portobello Markets is famous for antiques and clothing but it is the fresh produce and the interesting vendors that make it our favourite.  The stall holders are all very proud to explain where their produce comes from, so you are assured that everything you buy is as fresh as fresh – straight from the farm.

2: Tell us about some of your sources of inspiration for cooking ?  We have been fortunate to travel to Spain, Italy and Morocco this year, going to amazing restaurants and attending cooking classes. Each trip we come back home with an assortment of new goods and inspired to get in the kitchen and replicate authentic dishes like Paella at home. Coming from Australia where there is strong emphasis on multicultural cuisines, we also like to cook Asian dishes and most of these ingredients are easily obtainable in London, all except kaffir limes leaves which only come frozen in the UK – one of my favourite ingredients for Thai Curries.


3: What are the main differences between your aproach and Michaels to cooking? And how do you organize?   

Michael and I have an interesting dynamic in the kitchen. Michael is very methodical and strictly follows recipes, measuring everything down to the 1/8 teaspoon (no exaggeration), whereas I’m more of a Jamie Oliver cook. I somehow manage to start off with a recipe but then I suddenly think, we need a bit more chilli or a tad more palm sugar – let’s just say I’m more experimental but somehow, in our different ways, we manage to create something special.

To counter balance our contrasting cooking methods, and because we are extremely competitive people, we have a running joke about who is playing head chef. This highly coveted position (which means you get to give all the cooking orders for the evening) is fought over every time we get in the kitchen. This funny battle we have, usually carried out with a glass of wine in hand, is how Michael and I unwind at the end of a busy day.

4: Can u tell us about some unique elements of the australian diet?  While London has become our home-away-from-home, there is something about the Australian dining scene that we will never be able to replace. The fresh, seafood-focused produce and the stunning waterfront dining destinations, coupled with atmospheric laneway tapas bars and eclectic cafes, mean that Sydney will always be our real home.

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