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This roast chicken was inspired by Darina Allen, who had a new method for keeping the Chicken skin moist – using butter soaked muslin. It works excellently so we’re converts to this technique!

Traditional Roast Chicken with Stuffing and Gravy – to serve 4

  • 1 chicken
  • chicken stock

FOR THE STUFFING: 

  • 45g butter
  • 75g chopped onion
  • 75-100g soft white breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh herbs (we used parsley and thyme)
  • a little soft butter

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350°F/gas 4.

Make the stuffing: sweat the onions gently in the butter until soft, then take off the heat and stir in the breadcrumbs, herbs and some seasoning. Leave to cool.

Season the inside of the chicken, then half-fill with the cold stuffing. Put the rest of the stuffing into the neck end.

Weight the chicken and calculate the cooking time (15 minutes per 450g and 15 minutes over).

Melt 4 tsp butter and soak a large piece of muslin in the melted butter, cover the chicken completely with the muslin and roast for the calculated time. You can take the muslin off for the last 10 minutes if you want the skin really brown.

Check that the juices are running clear when pierced with a skewer, then leave to rest.

To make the gravy: spoon off any surplus fat from the roasting tin. De-glaze the pan juices with the stock and use a whisk to to stir and scrape the caramelised bits from the bottom of the tin. Boil it up well, season and thicken if you like (we like it runny).

Serve with greens and mash.

Wine Suggestion: Oaked white wines go well with roast chicken with Chardonnay being the obvious pick. We were a little extravagant and had a superb Chardonnay / Auxerrois blend from Zind-Humbrecht in Alsace. It’s a Vin de Table as Chardonnay is not an authorised grape for the region and as the wine is all about texture, minerality and structure , pushing the boundaries a lot, you could argue it is controversial on tasting as well; we thought it superb and thought provoking. As it opened up in the glass over the meal it worked better and better, matching flavours, complimenting them and adding nuances. The wine: Zind Z010 (obviously 2010 vintage, but Vin de Table wines are not allowed to say anything about vintage or region on the label).

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