Mormor’s birthday dinner of roast chicken, sweet and sour cucumber and separated gravy

Mormor’s birthday dinner of roast chicken, sweet and sour cucumber and separated gravy

By
From
Scandinavian Comfort Food
Serves
6
Photographer
Columbus Leth

This is a classic Danish summer dish that is served with variations from region to region. It is my grandmother’s recipe, which she always cooked for her birthday, on 16th July. It is very important for all the ingredients to be seasonal, with new potatoes, and it has to be a big, juicy, tasty chicken. I still cook it on my mormor’s birthday if I am home and not travelling, otherwise I cook it a few times every summer.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 large organic chicken
100g curly parsley
10 black peppercorns
400ml water
100ml double cream
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1.5kg new potatoes, to serve

For the sweet and sour cucumber

Quantity Ingredient
250ml clear vinegar, (5%)
50ml water
125g caster sugar
2 large cucumbers, thinly sliced
pinch salt

For the green salad

Quantity Ingredient
1 summer lettuce, leaves separated
100ml single cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
2-3 tablespoons lemon juice

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Sprinkle the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper and stuff with the parsley and peppercorns. Place in a roasting tin and rub the outside of the chicken with salt. Roast for 20 minutes then add the water to the tin and roast for 1 hour 15 minutes, depending on size, now and then basting the chicken with the fat that has rendered into the tin, to make the skin crisper. Use a meat thermometer to check the inside of a thigh to see if it is done; it should read 75°C. Remove to a plate or board to rest and keep warm.
  3. While the chicken is roasting, whisk together the vinegar, water and sugar for the sweet and sour cucumber, and when all the sugar has dissolved add the cucumber slices and salt and set aside, folding gently now and then. Boil the new potatoes until tender, then drain.
  4. For the green salad, rinse the lettuce leaves and drain well. Mix the cream, sugar, salt and lemon juice in a bowl and whisk until the sugar has dissolved. Fold the lettuce leaves through the dressing just before serving.
  5. While the chicken is resting, pour the liquid from the roasting tin into a saucepan, add the cream and bring to the boil, then season with salt and pepper. The gravy will tend to separate, but give it a nice whisk and stir it every now and then with a spoon once on the table.
  6. Carve the chicken and serve with the boiled potatoes, sweet and sour cucumber, green salad and gravy.
  7. A world-class meal!
Tags:
Scandinavian
Danish
Swedish
comfort food
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