Christmas is just around the corner and this flavourful roast chicken will stand out at the dinner table. The stuffing is made from barley which is a nice alternative to bread. Serve it with the chicken as an accompaniment or to soak up any extra gravy on your plate.
Roast chicken is a staple at our table each year. It was a special occasion which meant a chicken or rooster was taken from the coop and proudly displayed on the table. Chicken was only ever eaten whole and roasted. It rarely graced the table in chicken stir-frys, kebabs or a chicken curry. The only exception to this was when mum bought chicken wings from the supermarket as an affordable dinner.
One chicken can make 2- 3 meals. I love this. The price of an organic free-range chicken is roughly $20 these days and I like to get as much as possible out of the bird. Starting with roasting the bird, after the meal, the meat is then pulled from the carcus to be used later. The carcus would then be boiled up to make chicken stock which would then be used in a soup. The meat which would be left over could go into the soup, put on sandwiches or added to a pie.
Tell me what do you love to do with your left over chicken meat?
- 1 med brown onion, finely diced
- 150 gm lamb mince
- 1 cup barley
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ tsp mixed spice
- ¼ tsp all spice
- ½ cinnamon quill
- ¼ cup white wine
- ¼ cup raisins
- ¼ cup cranberries – dried
- 2 cups of chicken stock
- 1 lemon zested and juiced
- 1 good handful of parsley
- 1 stalk of rosemary
- 4 stalks of thyme
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 whole chicken (1.5 kilo bird easily feed 6 people)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- Preheat oven to 190’c. Pat dry your chicken.
- To make the stuffing. Over a medium heat place the onion and a drizzle of olive oil in a medium saucepan. Cooking the onion to soften, adding the lamb mince to brown. Add the barley, bay leaves, mixed spice, all spice, cinnamon and white wine and stir. Add the raisins and cranberries and chicken stock and bring to the boil. Add another 1 cup of water and adjust to simmer on a medium heat with a lid on the pot for 25 min. Check to see if the barley has cooked if not allow to cook for a further 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper once cooked.
- In a small glass jug place the lemon zest, lemon juice, herbs and olive oil. Using a stick blender combine the mixture it should be about ½ a cup once blended.
- Place 4 tablespoons of herb mixture in to the middle of a baking tray resting the chicken on top. Lift the skin on the breast and make pockets, being careful not to tear the skin. Spoon the mixture into the pockets above the breast. Reserve ¼ cup of the herb mixture to add to your gravy.
- Spoon the stuffing into the cavity of the chicken and close up with a metal skewer or a rosemary stalk. Freeze any leftover stuffing for another time or serve it in a bowl at the dinner table.
- Roast the chicken for 30min. Add the chicken stock to the baking dish and cook for a further 40 min, baste halfway through cooking with the juices from the pan.
- Once the chicken is golden in colour and the juices run clear, rest the chicken for 15min before carving. Allowing you time to make a gravy.