Saturday, November 9, 2013

Old fashioned Sunday chicken and pork dinner

Victoria Abbott is a collaboration between Mary Jane and Victoria Maffini. This recipe is from MJ's kitchen, but Victoria got to eat it. So, another collaboration.

I remember this meal fondly from my childhood. The taste and the aroma live on in memory. My mother was a terrific natural cook and she’d make this on a cold Sunday in the late fall.  When you walked in. red-cheeked from playing outside, you’d be greeted with the tantalizing scent. The house would smell heavenly all day.  Somehow the natural aroma of roasting chicken and roasting pork combined to prove the old adage that the whole is so much greater than the sum of its parts! That's still true today.

Of course, you can never duplicate your mom’s cooking (or at least, I can’t) and I never got the recipe. but here’s my best effort. It’s pretty straightforward as recipes go. In fact, it’s much easier than pie! And you could adapt it to suit your tastes and ways of doing things.

This week  I came across great deals on lovely chicken and pork, I thought it was time to issue an invitation for an informal dinner to the 'real' Victoria  and her nephew Jesse (and to various extra pooches including one that looks a lot like Walter the Pug.  
Here’s what I needed to get started:

1 whole chicken – about 4 pounds (could be less or even more)
1 pork roast – 4 pounds (I used boneless rib, but there are no rules!)
2 large yellow onions
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon flour
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp dried thyme
Salt, pepper
Preheat oven to 375. (or 350 if convection)

Put a bit of olive oil on the bottom of a roasting dish. I get better results with my ancient dark enamel one than with the sparkling new stainless roaster.

Place the chicken in the pan and rub with a bit of olive oil. Sprinkle on flour, salt and pepper and rub that in.

Place the pork in the pan too. 

Cut the onions in quarters and place them around the chicken and the pork.

Make a paste of the Dijon and the garlic and coat all sides of the roast pork with it.

Roast for about 2 hours, basting every half hour. You may need to remove the chicken before the pork. Chicken is done when legs wiggle.

Use a meat thermometer to check and definitely use one for the pork roast.

Serve with pan drippings or  make gravy with the pan drippings if you are gravy people.  We put 1/2  cup flour in a mason jar, add a 1 1/2 cups of cold water and shake it until it’s very smooth.  We didn't think you needed an illustration of flour and water mixed, but ...

Add that to the pan juices and bits of onion left in the pan and bring to a boil, and then simmer, seasoning with salt and pepper. Again, much more than you’d think. Some say better than ice cream ...

Enjoy your old-fashioned meal! We served ours with roasted sweet potatoes and bean salad. But you could go all mashed potatoes and peas.

Here's a little bit more about Victoria Abbott, author of the book collector mysteries. 

Victoria is an artist and photographer and MJ is the author of 13 books in three other series, as Mary Jane Maffini. They love their book collector mysteries and are happily at work on The Wolfe Widow, third in the series.   They're very excited about the The Sayers Swindle due out in less than a month!

The Sayers Swindle, the second in the book collector mysteries will be out in December 3, 2013. Please let them know how you like it.

You can click here to preorder The Sayers Swindle!

Or here for the Kindle version!

Or order through your favorite bookstore - in person or online.

And don't forget to ....

Watch the trailer for The Sayers Swindle!


The Christie Curse, the first book collector mystery, launched in March 2013 to great reviews.

The Christie Curse is also available in Large Print! Tell your local librarian!

 Walter, the pug in the series is a dead ringer for Peachy, Victoria's new best friend. 

 Come over and friend Victoria on Facebook

Tell  her  you love the pug!


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Roberta! We thought so too and ending up making it twice in two weeks.



  2. What a lovely meal. We're definitely making this dish. I'm fascinated by your gravy!!! I'm a total dunce when it comes to gravy. I have made it upside down, while doing cartwheels, in fifteen pots and pans, and with torture instruments. This sounds so easy!


    1. Thanks, Krista! Let me know if the gravy turns out. My mother taught me to put the flour in first and that the water MUST be cold. It will only work if there are nice browny pan juices.



  3. This recipe takes me back to chilly Sundays and the heavenly scent of roasting meats. I never tried to cook pork and chicken together, and now I wonder why. Going to give this a try real soon. (Marc insists!) Thank you so much for sharing this and have a great fall weekend.

    ~ Cleo

    1. I hope you like it! And hope you both have a great weekend too. There's snow here. Eep.



  4. Ah, MJ (VA), what a lovely memory. I'd never thought to combine chicken and pork, and yet their flavors are so similar, it makes total sense! And what a nice combination to offer to guests. Thank you for sharing! Hope your family meal was delightful.

    Daryl / Avery

    1. We all had fun and ate well, Daryl!
      I always enjoy your memory related posts too.



  5. I'm rapidly rethinking my menu for Sunday night! Looks soooo yummy.

  6. Sounds warm and homey.
    I notice that the large print book has a "large'r chair! Cute

    1. I hadn't noticed the large'r chair, Libby, but you're right!