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French Roast Chicken

To kick off the series, Hilary has two delicious meals with chicken.

For the crowds, chicken pieces with a sticky marmalade sauce and spicy cous cous, and then for something more glamorous, a French style roast chicken with a green salad.

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • For the Stuffing:
    • 30ml (2 tbsp) oil
    • 30ml (2 tbsp) butter
    • 1 large onion, finely chopped
    • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
    • 1 garlic clove, crushed
    • 100g spinach, finely chopped
    • 125g feta cheese, crumbled
    • 1 thick slice white bread, crusts removed, grated
    • 30ml (2 tbsp) chopped pecan nuts
    • 2.5ml ( tsp) ground nutmeg
  • Other ingredients
  • 1 large chicken
  • Olive oil, for brushing
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 250ml (1 cup) chicken stock

Method

  1. To make the stuffing, heat oil and butter and fry onion and spring onions till soft and golden. Add garlic and spinach and fry till soft. Stir in cheese, breadcrumbs, nuts and nutmeg. Allow to cool completely.
  2. Working from the neck, gently loosen the skin over the chicken breast, taking care not to tear the skin.
  3. Place cooled stuffing in the cavity under the loosened skin. Secure with a toothpick. Place chicken in a roasting pan, brush with oil and season. Pour stock around the bird and roast at 170°C for 60–80 minutes. Baste chicken every 15 minutes with pan juices. Don’t turn the bird as this will damage the breast. If the skin browns too quickly, cover loosely with foil. After removing from oven, cover with foil and rest for 15 minutes before carving.
  4. To make a gravy, thicken the pan juices on stove top with 15ml (1 tbsp) cake flour mixed to a paste with a little water. Stirring constantly, add more liquid — white wine, chicken stock or water — then reduce till thickened and serve with the chicken.