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the goods:

1 roasting hen

2 lg onion, (one chopped)

4 rashers / slices bacon, chopped

6 mushrooms, chopped

2 tblspns currants

2 tblspns pinenuts

1 tbplsn each: fresh oregano, rosemary and sage (or 1 tspn of each if dried)

olive oil

balsamic vinegar

verjuice or a light, pale vinegar

1 lemon

3-4 cups of mixed salad greens (radicchio, endive, frisee, arugula...)

 

 

roast chicken, bread stuffing with bacon, mushroom and balsamic infused currants...all served on a bed of bitter greens and served with a pan juice dressing!

preheat oven to 450f / 200c

toast: the pinenuts in a skillet for a couple of minutes over a medium flame. they should be golden, not scorched. set aside

pour: 2 tblspns balsamic vinegar and 2 tblspns warm water over the currants and leave to soak

heat: 1 tblspn olive oil in the skillet, add the chopped bacon, onions, herbs and mushrooms. cook until the bacon renders some fat and the mushrooms and onions have wilted. remove from pan, leave bacon and onion juices

heat: 2 tblspns olive oil in the skillet with the bacon fat. when this is hot, add the chopped, cubed bread. let this toast and brown slightly. pour 2 tblspns verjuice or light vinegar over the bread, then add the bacon, onion and mushrooms. season with salt and pepper, lastly add the currants including the balsamic liquid

wash: the chicken and pat it inside and out with paper towel to dry

stuff: the bread stuffing into the chicken cavity.pack it firmly. you can seal the cavity using skewers, if you like

peel: the onion, remove the outer layer and slice it into 1 inch rounds. place these on the bottom of a baking dish. douse them in a little olive oil. place the chicken on top of these onion rings

squeeze: the lemon over the chicken, then sprinkle salt liberally over the chicken and then douse it all in olive oil. place it in the oven, uncovered. the oven is nice and hot and the stuffing was pan-hot, so this will heat the bird up nicely. after 10 minutes, remove the chicken from the oven, cover it with foil, place it back in the oven and reduce the temp to 400f / 180c

baste: the chicken after 40 mins. remove the foil (I tear a little foil off and cover the wing tips and drumstick tips so that they do not scorch). cook another 35-40 mins. cooking time will depend upon the size of your chicken (which, in turn, will depend upon how many people you are feeding). stuffing a chicken increases the cooking time. you will know that your chicken is done if you remove it from the pan, place it on a white plate. prick it in the thickest part of the thigh and look to see if the juices are clear. this means that it is done. if there is blood in the juice, you need to cook it longer. my mum used to say that you could wiggle the drumstick and if it was loose, the bird was done...I tend to trust clear juices over loose limbs, others say that you can't have one without the other...

cover: the chicken in foil and let it sit whilst you get the salad ready

spoon: 1 tblspn of chicken fat and 2 tblspns of chicken juice from the pan, add 2 tblspns verjuice / light vinegar and 2 teaspoons of dijon mustard. mix with a fork and taste. you might want to add some salt and pepper

place: the mixed salad leaves in a large serving platter, add spoonfuls of stuffing onto the leaves. you might also add the onion rings from the pan if you like. finally place the roast chicken in the centre of the dish

active time: 20 mins

total time: 2hrs

you will need:

  • roasting pan
  • skillet
  • large serving platter

view the date that features this recipe

serve with:

either red or white wine

chocolate trifles

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