Roast Chicken and Bread Salad


There are a few dishes that everyone should know how to make well. Roasting a chicken to juicy tender perfection is a skill every carnivore should have. I’ve always used Simon Hopkinson’s recipe. Not only is he one of my favorite food writers but I figured a man who calls his book “Roast Chicken and Other Stories” has to feel pretty good about his method. And so he should. It’s downright perfect. I like it carved and laid atop a fresh spring salad with a dressing made of the chicken’s cooking juices which are soaked up by the croutons. 


Roast Chicken and Bread Salad

Adapted from Simon Hopkinson’s Roast Chicken and Other Stories

Serves 4



6 tablespoons of unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 chicken (approx. 4lbs), try to get farm raised if you can

1 lemon

A few branches of fresh thyme

1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed

1/2 cup of dry white wine

1 onion

Salt and pepper


Salad Ingredients:

4 cups of fresh white bread, torn or cut into 2″-3″ chunks

6 tablespoons of olive oil


4 cups of mixed salad leaves

4 radishes, thinly sliced with a potato peeler

1 cup fresh peas, if you can find them (otherwise use defrosted frozen ones)



1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.

2. Roughly chop the onion and put in a roasting pan large enough to fit the chicken as well as hold the juices.

3. Rub the chicken all over with the butter then sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. 

4. Squeeze the juice of the lemon all over the chicken and then put the two lemon halves inside the bird’s cavity along with the thyme and garlic. 

5. Roast the chicken for 15 minutes, then baste with the juices from the pan. Next add the wine to the pan. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F and roast for a further 45 minutes, basting occasionally with the pan juices. 

6. Meanwhile as your chicken is roasting, lay the bread on a cookie tray and mix well with the olive oil. Season with salt and add to the oven for the last 10-15 minutes that the chicken is roasting.

7. Turn off the oven, leave the door slightly open and let the chicken rest for 15 minutes.  

8. In a large bowl, mix the leaves, radishes, peas and croutons with some of the pan juices from the roast chicken. 

9. Arrange the salad on a platter. Carve the bird and lay on top of the salad. If you want to save some of the breast meat for later, you can start by serving the wings, drumsticks and thighs. Drizzle some of the remaining juices over the chicken pieces, just enough to moisten and add flavor, and serve immediately.

Introducing Daisy


For those who follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed a slight shift from the culinary to the canine. On November 14th, I adopted Daisy, a 12 week old scruffy mutt through the wonderful people at Social Tees who rescued her and her litter from a kill shelter in Tennessee. Part angel, part feral beast, she has turned my life upside down and inside out. Thanks to her, I laugh more, I smile more and couldn’t love her more even though she has ripped my sofa to shreds along with several pairs of shoes.



This weekend, I brought Daisy to a sibling reunion with a few of her littermates. They all looked so different with such individual personalities. I’d like to think they recognized each other but it’s hard to tell with Daisy as she plays with every dog like they’re her long lost sibling. It was heartwarming to see her reunited with her family and meet the other adopters who have, like me, made these dogs a central part of their lives.



In honor of Daisy and all the other wonderful and loving pups, I wanted to expand our products at Many Kitchens to offer gourmet pet food. We’ve been working with the wonderful Pai at Bunches & Bunches for a while but only just started offering their dog biscuits. Pai named the biscuits after her first dog, Bailey. And now, we’ve started working with Danielle and Dyana who recently launched Barklyn Organics with their dog Baci. Barklyn offers a line of 100% hormone free, free range, locally sourced dog food. Daisy will pretty much do anything I ask of her if I’m holding a piece of their Chicken Jerky. I hope your pets will enjoy these treats as much as Daisy has.

Shepherd’s Pie


Have you ever accidentally added the wrong ingredient to a dish and it turned out to be an improvement? This happened to me when I was making shepherd’s pie this week. Not really focusing as I’ve made it so often I squeezed a tube of what I thought was tomato paste into the pot only to realize it was harissa. It brought all the flavors together and added a gentle heat that elevated it from good to great. Please don’t be put off by the anchovy paste – I add it to most slow cooked dishes as it gives a salty richness that’s not in the slightest bit fishy. If you don’t like lamb, simply substitute for beef and call it cottage pie. Either way, it’s the perfect comfort food whether you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day or not. 


Shepherd’s Pie 

Serves 4


2 lbs minced lamb (or beef)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, finely diced

1 carrots, peeled and finely diced

2 celery sticks, finely diced

1 tablespoon harissa

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 teaspoon anchovy paste

14oz can of tomatoes

1/2 cup chicken stock


For the topping:

2 lbs potatoes, peeled and cut into similar size pieces

3 medium leeks, trimmed, sliced lengthwise, then into 1/2″ slices and washed thoroughly

8 tablespoons butter, divided

2 oz mature cheddar cheese, grated

Fresh thyme



1. In a large casserole dish or frying pan, heat the olive oil and fry the onions for approximately 5 minutes. Add the carrots and celery and cook for a further 5 minutes.

2. Add the lamb (or beef) and increase the heat, stirring frequently until all the meat is nicely browned. About 5 minutes.

3. Add the harissa, tomato paste, anchovy paste, tomatoes and stock. Bring to a simmer and then reduce to a low heat and cook for about an hour. Check for seasoning. 

4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to the boil and add the potatoes. Cook until very tender, drain and return to the pot with 6 tablespoons of butter and a generous sprinkling of salt. Mash well.

5. In a frying pan, heat the remaining two tablespoons of butter and gently fry the leeks for 5 minutes. 

6. In either a large baking dish or 4 individual baking dishes, divide the meat mixture evenly. Top with mashed potatoes, then leeks, then grated cheddar and finally a sprinkling of fresh thyme.

7. Bake in a 400°F oven for 30 minutes until nicely browned. Serve warm.