We don’t buy meat, in fact we don’t really buy fruit or vegetables either (yeah yeah except bananas and lemons) we eat what we grow. So the only chickens we have eaten over the past couple of years have been scraggy, often old, cockerels – and bantam Silky cockerels at that (these are especially tiny and scrawny). These kind of cockerels are not brilliant for roasting. I have had to wait until the meat birds were ready late this summer for roasting birds.
It was worth waiting for.
So now we have some lovely chicken to eat. The bird in the photo is an Ixworth/Naked Neck cross and was big – 4kg. We killed the last crosses a couple of weeks before Christmas – see here, but I was saving him to eat with friends. I had found the perfect recipe as well – Dana’s recipe for roast chicken with bread and pork stuffing – see here
It is amazing. I think I have only ever stuffed a chicken once before (a middle-eastern rice-type affair) – to be honest after decades of being vegetarian and then only eating the occasional Sutton Hoo chicken I haven’t actually eaten that many roast chickens. I want that to change now. I kind of regret not leaving more of the birds we killed whole – oh well – they are now laying eggs so hopefully there will be chicks soon and that means more roast chicken at the end of the summer…
I basically copied Dana’s recipe except I used gluten-free bread and I used my gravy recipe and of course my chicken still has some feathers on it because really sometimes I just can’t be bothered to pluck every single last one. Her photos are lovely too – you should go and look at her blog, it is wonderful.
I’ve Got Cake’s Roast Chicken with Bread and Pork Stuffing: a chicken – please make it a free range, happy chicken; 1/2 cup of milk, one egg, 1/2 cup chicken livers (roughly chopped), big handful of minced pork, couple of cloves of crushed garlic, half a diced onion, some chopped parsley (handful), tbs of melted butter, extra butter for rubbing on the chicken. For the gravy: chicken stock, tbs flour, splash of something alcoholic (red wine, sherry etc), couple of tbs of hedgerow/redcurrant jelly.
Soak bread in the milk, then squeeze out excess milk (I nearly forgot to do this – don’t forget). Put the bread, egg, chicken livers, minced pork, parsley, chopped onion, and melted butter in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper
Stuff your chicken. Make sure the cavity is closed – I shoved a toothpick through it.
Smear butter over the chicken and roast for one and a half hours at about 180-200C until the juices run clear.
To make the gravy, remove chicken from pan and let it rest. Put pan on the stove top and heat the juices – as our chickens are a heritage breed they are very very juicy. Slosh in some alcohol and loosen the lovely bit stuck on the pan. Mix some flour with the juices in the pan. Add in stock and jelly and stir. I love this gravy.
No photos of the lovely dinner we had as I was too busy gobbling it up. We had it with mashed potatoes and this salad.
This is why I keep chickens.