Mrs. Jackson Cooks

Life through food

Fast roast chicken with homemade stuffing

on May 15, 2011

I was intending on making a roast chicken the normal way this sunday, but got a bit distracted by selling stuff on ebay, and before I knew it, it was 6pm and I hadn’t even started! So, i remembered that I’d seen a Delia recipe on how to roast a small chicken quickly. I found it and it seemed perfect – roast in 45minutes.

It’ll only really work with a small to medium bird. I used a 1.5kg chicken. Probably anything up to 1.8kg would be ok – adjust your cooking times accordingly – but much beyond that and you’ll either end up with it being dry or under cooked.

And I’d already been looking for a stuffing recipe but nothing inspired me, until I looked in my Leith’s recipe book and there was a herb and apple one that seemed perfect, so that was that sorted.

But the chicken recipe said not to open the oven during the cooking so I thought I’d better shove the vege in at the same time – not such a great idea, it was very over cooked (i.e. burnt!). But the chicken was delicious as was the stuffing so that made up for it. So, learn from my mistakes and do your vege on the hob if you make this recipe!

The original recipe from delia is here http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/main-ingredient/poultry-and-game/chicken/fast-roast-chicken-with-lemon-and-tarragon.html

The stuffing recipe is from my Leith’s cookbook but I have adapted it so it’s not infringing copyright!

Fast roast chicken with apple & herb stuffing

Serves 4-6 people

  • 1 small-medium chicken (mine was 1.5kg)
  • 20g butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt & pepper

For the stuffing

  • 1 apple, grated
  • fresh herbs, chopped (I used basil, sage and thyme)
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 40g breadcrumbs
  • 30g butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 small egg, beaten

For the gravy

  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 250-300ml white wine (something cheap and cheerful or you don’t like drinking)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • extra water
  • 1 tsp gravy browning or marmite
  1. Heat the oven to 230 degrees celsius. Remove the chicken from the fridge at least 1 hour before cooking (or 30 mins on a hot day). Remove the string and spread out the joints so it warms up quicker.
  2. To make the stuffing, heat the butter in a small pan and fry the onion in it until softened but not browned.
  3. Put the apple, herbs, lemon zest and breadcrumbs in a bowl. Add the butter & onions to it. Mix well and add seasoning to taste. Add the egg (just enough to bind) mix well and leave to cool.
  4. When the chicken is warmed up to room temperature, make some small slits in the skin on the breast of the chicken and using small slivers of butter stick them in the slits and in the leg and wing crevises. Splash the olive oil over the top of the skin and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Stuff the stuffing into the chicken’s cavity (and if you have extra room, then add a lemon, halved)
  6. Put in the lower third of the oven and roast for about 45minutes without opening the oven door (Delia suggests 45 minutes for 1.35kg bird so I did it for 52minutes and I think to be honest it was probably done at 45minutes. I would roast for 45 minutes without opening the door and then check it at this time, roasting for 5-10 minutes longer if it’s not done. You can see if it’s done by inserting a knife into the fleshiest bit of the thigh. If the juices run clear it’s done).
  7. Place the bird on a carving board (or plate) and cover in foil. Leave to rest for 20 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, using the remaining juices in the roasting pan, place it on the hob on a low heat and add the flour. Mix well for a couple of minutes and then add a splash of the wine. Mix well to get an even consistency (I find it best to use a whisk to remove and prevent lumps) and keep adding the wine a bit at a time until you have a reasonably thin sauce.
  9. Bring to the boil and add the salt & pepper to taste.
  10. Allow to simmer and thicken. If it’s too thick add some water.
  11. When you have a suitable gravy consistency add some gravy browning or marmite if you want a darker colour. Or leave as it is.
  12. Uncover the chicken, scoop out the stuffing. Pour any juices that have come out of the bird into gravy and mix well.
  13. Carve the bird giving a mix of breast and leg meat
  14. Serve with the stuffing, vege and gravy.
  15. And voila – abeautifully done, succulent roast chickenwith homemade stuffing in about an hour. Enjoy!
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