If you are bored to tears with sage and onion stuffing, here is a fun alternative.
Not only is the nuttiness and sweetness of the stuffing irresistible but all the gluten intolerants in your life will love you! I have always found the bread crumb-based stuffings very stodgy anyway. Oh, and if you have any of the mixture left after stuffing the bird, it makes a great snack with chopped avocado.
The past few years we have experienced highs and lows of roast chicken and here are my observations. A lot of recipes’ cooking times these days are radically shortened to suit everyone who is caught up in the rat race but unfortunately, the end result leaves much to be desired. You can cook the hell out of as chicken at a high temperature in a little over and hour but what you will end up with is rubbery flesh that struggles to come off the bone and dry breast meat. Instead, roast a chicken on a lazy Sunday afternoon and pamper it. Seriously, pour all your love into it by basting it and treating it with the utmost patience. You won’t be disappointed when you devour the tender, moist meat and salty, crispy skin.
- 60g (2¼ oz) butter, melted
- 1 onion, chopped
- 5ml (1 tsp) ground allspice
- 60g (2¼ oz) basmati rice
- 50g (1¾ oz) pecans, chopped
- 30g (1 oz) pine nuts
- 55g (2 oz/½ cup) sultanas [golden raisins]
- 125ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) chicken stock
- 2.3kg (5 lbs) chicken
- 170ml (5½ fl oz) chicken stock
- Preheat the oven to 140°C/fan 120°C /285°F/gas mark 1.
- Pour half the butter into a large frying pan, then add the onion and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat until the onion is transparent. Stir in the allspice.
- Add the rice and nuts to the pan, and then cook for 3-4 minutes over medium-high heat. Add the sultanas, stock and 60ml (2fl oz/¼ cup) of water. Bring to boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes, until the water is absorbed. Allow to cool.
- Rinse the cavity of the chicken with cold water and pat dry inside and out with paper towels.
- When the stuffing is cool, spoon the stuffing into the cavity. Truss the chicken, using string, then place in a deep baking dish, then rub 2.5ml (½ tsp) salt and 1.25ml (¼ tsp) freshly ground black pepper into the skin, using your fingertips.
- Pour the remainder of the butter over the chicken, then add the stock to the pan. Roast for 2 hours and 30 minutes, basting every 30 minutes with juices from the pan.
- Increase the oven’s temperature to 180°C/fan 160°C /350°F/gas mark 4 for another 30 minutes to brown the chicken thoroughly.
- Roasted potatoes and parsnips, along with your favourite green vegetable.
- The weight of your chicken can vary so adjust the initial cooking time accordingly but remember to crank up the heat for the last 30 minutes. For example, if your chicken weighs 1.6kg (3lb 8oz), you should aim to roast it at 140°C/fan 120°C /285°F/gas mark 1 for 1 hour and 45 minutes, then increase the oven’s temperature to 180°C/fan 160°C /350°F/gas mark 4 for another 30 minutes to brown the chicken thoroughly.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 217.15
- Sugar: 1.725 g
- Sodium: 279.625 mg
- Fat: 13.075 g
- Saturated Fat: 4.425 g
- Carbohydrates: 12.5 g
- Protein: 11.975 g
- Cholesterol: 50.75 mg