Monday, March 15, 2010


I decided to ease myself into this challenge by starting with one familiar recipe and one totally unfamiliar one.

For the unfamiliar recipe, I chose chicken delicious (p137). How can you go wrong with a name like that? Deliciousness is practically guaranteed. It's basically a roast chicken with a sort of sweet and sourish type sauce.

For the familiar recipe, I selected the ever-popular chocolate self-saucing pudding (p207) The stains on this page of the cookbook are testament enough to the number of times I've made it. I had some qualms about the hot pudding as the day got warmer and warmer, but in the end I decided to stick to my original plan.

I hit my first hurdle when it came to the ingredients. My book was printed in 1999, and since then, they've changed the way chickens are sized. Chicken delicious is one of several recipes in the poultry section which specify a no. 8 chicken. These days, a size 10 is about as small as chickens get, and those are really really tiny.

My immediate reaction was to consult Google. Sadly, this repository of not-quite-all knowledge couldn't find me any info on old vs new chicken sizes. I dare say it's there somewhere if you know which question to ask. So I took the next obvious step and asked Mum. She didn't know either, but in a flurry of text messages suggested possible ways to estimate the correct size. Then Dad stepped in with the highly practical idea of checking the same recipe in a more recent edition.

With this in mind, I headed to Pak N Save. I passed through the produce section in typically clumsy fashion, and, trying to look like I wasn't leaving in my wake half a dozen red onions rolling on the floor, headed to the baking section. Here I found the current printing of the Edmonds book. Turning to the poultry chapter, I found the recipe for chicken delicious... which still states a no. 8 chicken. So I guess Edmonds aren't up to date with chicken sizing.

I fell back on Mum's suggestion, which was to go by serving sizes. The chicken delicious recipe serves 4-6, so I looked for a chicken marked 4-6 servings. I ended up with a size 14, which, according to the label, serves 5-6.

Some hours later, when consulting the Edmonds book for roasting instructions, I found, in the introduction to the poultry chapter, a chart listing all chicken sizes by weight. I should have known that my trusty Edmonds book wouldn't let me down! Of course, it would have been quite useful if I'd found that yesterday... never mind. As it happens, I'd bought a slightly smaller chicken than a no. 8, but that's probably for the best - it's still heaps for one person!

After the chicken had been roasting for 40 minutes, I poured over a sauce made from apple juice and cream of chicken soup mix. To this I added chopped onion, bacon, capsicum and tomato. The recipe specifies that the tomatoes are to be blanched and chopped - which was quite fun since I'd never blanched anything in my life - but I think canned tomatoes would work just as well.

I adjusted the cooking times to my smaller chicken, and before I knew it, my chicken delicious was ready. It happened so quickly I wasn't quite ready for it. Wanting to get my pudding in the oven immediately so as not to waste electricity, I madly threw together the pudding mixture while the chicken was resting and the sauce thickening. Luckily chocolate self-saucing pud is quite quick to make, but even so, my chicken was slightly cold by the time I'd made a salad and sat down to eat.

And what did it taste like? Delicious? Well, it was really quite tasty. But 'delicious' might be a bit of an overstatement. If you want to make this, keep an eye on the old 'juices run clear' test. My chicken was only a little bit smaller than it should have been, but it cooked in a lot shorter time than stated in the recipe. Nobody likes dry overcooked chicken!

As for the chocolate self-saucing pud, do I really need to say anything? We all know it, we all love it: Gooey chocolatey comfort food - not really appropriate to a sweltering Autumn day, but a favourite nonetheless.


  1. I'm obsessed with that chocolate pudding...I make Bryn make it for me quite often (well, I assume it's the same one!!) Congrats on your first "real" entry!!

  2. wow you're qick on the uptake! I'm still going back and forth editing and you're already commenting!

  3. This is a fantastic blog!
    Keep it up! :) Now I want to make Chicken Delicious (without the tomatoes of course, haha)

  4. You can't actually taste the tomatoes (actually YOU probably could) but I doubt you'd have any lying around the house that need using..


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