Roast Chicken

Serves 4

  • 1 x 1.35kg roasting chicken
  • 15g butter, softened

For the stuffing

  • 30g butter
  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • 50g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 1 small cooking apple, grated
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh herbs
  • Grated zest of ½ a lemon
  • ½ egg, beaten
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To Garnish

  • 4 chipolata sausages
  • 4 rashers of rindless streaky bacon

For the gravy

  • 1 scant tablespoon plain flour
  • 300ml White Chicken Stock

To serve

  • Bread sauce
  1. Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas mark 6.
  2. To make the stuffing, melt the butter in a saucepan and sweat the onion until soft but not coloured. Allow to cool.
  3. Mix the breadcrumbs, apple herbs and lemon zest together in a bowl.
  4. Add the softened onion and enough beaten egg to bind the mixture together. Do not make it too wet. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Stuff the chicken from the neck end, making sure the breast is well plumped. Draw the neck skin flap down to cover the stuffing. Secure with a skewer if necessary. Place in a roasting pan.
  6. Smear a little butter all over the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for about 1½ hours, or until the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with s skewer.
  7. Meanwhile, make the chipolatas into cocktail-sized sausages by twisting gently in the middle. Cut each bacon rasher in half and roll up.
  8. After the chicken has been roasting for 1 hour, put the sausages and bacon rolls into the roasting pan, wedging the rolls together so that they cannot come undone.
  9. Baste occasionally and check that the sausages and bacon are not sticking to the side of the pan and getting burnt.
  10. When the chicken is cooked, transfer it to a warmed serving dish. Trim off the wing tips and tops of the drumsticks, surround with the bacon rolls and sausages and keep warm while you make the gravy.
  11. Slowly pour off all but one tablespoon of the fat from the roasting pan, taking care to keep any juices. Add the flour and cook until straw coloured. Add the stock and stir until the sauce boils. Simmer for 3 minutes. Check the seasoning. Strain into a warmed gravy boat.
  12. Serve the chicken with the bread sauce and gravy.