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Roast Chicken with Stuffing

I often long for Mum’s roast chicken with her delicious lemony stuffing, there’s nothing like it… with gravy, roast or mashed potatoes and delicious vegetables for a great lunch or supper to share with family and friends.  

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken, 1.5 – 2.25kg (3lbs 5ozs – 5lbs)

For the Stuffing

  • 25g (1oz) butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped sage
  • finely grated rind of 1 lemon
  • juice of half a lemon
  • *100g (4ozs) soft breadcrumbs
  • a small knob of butter
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 350ml (12fl ozs) chicken stock for the gravy

 

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.

  1. First make the stuffing, melt the butter in a saucepan, then add in the chopped onion, cover with a butter wrapper or a piece of greaseproof paper, cover with the lid, and cook over a low heat for about 8-10 minutes until the onions are soft.
  2. Take off the heat, then stir in the chopped herbs, lemon rind, lemon juice and the breadcrumbs. Season to taste.
  3.  Spoon the stuffing into the carcass of the chicken and place the chicken in a roasting tray.
  4. Smear the knob of soft butter over the skin and sprinkle with some sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper.  Roast for 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 of an hours (75mins – 105 minutes), until cooked. The legs should feel quite loose in the bird and when a skewer is stuck into the thigh with a spoon placed underneath to catch the juices, they (the juices) should run clear.
  5. Transfer the chicken to a serving plate and leave to rest, in a warm oven if possible, while you make the gravy. 
  6. Place the roasting tray on the hob on a medium heat, add half of the stock and bring to the boil whisking to get the sweet juicy bits which have stuck to the tray (this is called deglazing) when it comes to the boil, pour it into a mais-gras, or just a small bowl or pyrex jug.  If using the bowl/ jug add 1 or 2 ice-cubes, this will draw the fat up to the top, then you can spoon the fat off and discard.  If using a mais-gras, degrease the juices in the usual way .Pour the degreased juices into a small saucepan, add the remainder of the stock, bring to the boil, and season to taste, if it’s a little watery, boil it for another couple of minutes. 
  7. Take the chicken out, carve and serve with the gravy, stuffing, roast potatoes or mash and vegetables.
  8.  *To make breadcrumbs, place slices of white bread (with or without the crusts) in a food processor, and whiz until you have crumbs, about 20 seconds.
  9.  Mum usually chops her onions and parsley, separately, in the food processor for the stuffing too.