Although traditionally served for Sunday lunch, roast chicken is delicious for any occasion its tender moist and full of flavor. Served with home-made stuffing balls, roast potatoes and fresh vegetables, it’s ideal for the whole family.
3-3 ,1/2 lb/1.5 kg oven ready
free range chicken
small bunch of fresh thyme
1 small onion, peeled and halved
2 oz /40g butter softend
salt and freshly ground
4 rashers streaky bacon
celery leaves for garnish, optional
FOR THE STUFFING BALLS.
1 Table spoon vegetable oil 1
1 large onion peeled and finely chopped
6 oz /175 g fresh white bread crumb
3 table spoon freshly chopped parsley finely grated rind of 1 lemon
1 table spoon dried thyme leaves
2 stick celery trimmed and finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black papper
1 egg size 3, beaten
FOR THE GRAVY
1 oz/25 g plain flour
1 pint /450 ml chicken stock
gravy browning optional
Preheat oven gas 5,375 F,190 C 10 mins before roasting the chicken, thoroughly wash chicken inside and outside, in cold water. Drain well and pat dry with paper towels place the thyme and onion halves inside the bird .
Tuck the wings and neck flap neatly under the bird truss the chicken neatly with thin clean string as about 2 ft/60 cm long. Place the center of the string under the person’s nose, cross the ends over and tie a tight knot.so that the legs are held securely together. Turn the chicken over, then take the string right along the sides of the neck end. Bring the ends across Neck flap and tie securely.
Place the chicken in a roasting tin smear the skin with butter and season with salt and pepper. Place the bacon rashers across the breast. Cook the chicken in the center of the oven for 1 to half hour, or until well done. Basting frequently with the pan juices remove the bacon rashers for the last 30 mins of cooking.
To test whether chicken is cooked, pierce the bird with the tip of a small pointed knife at the thickest part of the thigh to allow juices to run out these should be clear with no trace of pink,
Meanwhile make the stuffing balls.
Heat the oil in frying pan, add the onions and cook for 5-6 mins until softened but not browned place in a bowl with the remaining stuffing ingredients season and mix together
Roll into a meatball.
About 40 mins before the chicken is cooked take 3 tablespoon of the fat from the roasting tin and put it into a shallow ovenproof dish. Add the stuffing balls, turning them in the fat until they are evenly coated, place in the oven on a rack above the chicken, to cook until golden brown. When the chicken is done, remove from the roasting tin and place on a serving plate, loosely cover with foil and keep warm .
To make gravy ,discard the bacon rashers from roasting tin. Tilt tin to one one side and carefully skin off all fat from the roasting juices left in bottom of the pan. Place roasting tin on the heat and stir in the chicken stock and gravy browning if using .bring to the boil stirring all the time gravy thickens. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 mins strain the gravy into a serving jug. Serve chicken accompanied by the stuffing balls, bacon rolls and gravy.
HOW TO PREPARE
1, truss cleaned chicken with thin string tied around parsons nose and legs
2,turn chicken over , bring string to top pf wings and tie across neck and flap
3,place chicken in tin with butter, season , place bacon across breast
4, mix all the stuffing ingredients together ,bind and then roll into neat ball
5,for gravy skim fat from residue left in tin and stir flour into meat juices
6,add stock to roasting tin and bring to the boil, stringing cook until thickened