ROAST CHICKEN WITH BACON AND SAGE STUFFING
Serves 4 Prep and cook time: 2 hrs
• 1.6kg chicken
• 2 leeks (700g), rinsed, trimmed
• 1 tablespoon softened butter
• 2 cups (500ml) chicken stock
• green salad, to serve
• 60g butter
• 2 (160g) rashers bacon, chopped finely
• 1 large (200g) onion, chopped finely
• 1 clove garlic, crushed
• 1 tablespoon finely chopped sage
• 2 ripe (300g) Roma tomatoes, chopped finely
• 2 cups (100g) stale breadcrumbs
• ½ cup finely chopped fresh flatleaf parsley
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
1. For the sage stuffing: Heat the butter in a large frying pan. Add the bacon and cook for a few minutes, then add the onion, garlic and sage. Cook, stirring over medium heat until soft. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for a further 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the breadcrumbs, parsley and juice. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper; mix well.
2. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced).
3. Rinse the chicken and then pat dry, inside and out, with paper towel.
4. Run your fingers carefully between the skin and breast meat to make two large pockets. Fill each of the pockets with 2 tablespoons of sage stuffing. Fill the chicken cavity with the remaining stuffing. Secure the legs with cooking string.
5. Cut the leek into 5cm lengths, then finely slice lengthways. Place in the base of a small roasting pan and place the chicken on top. Rub the softened butter over the skin of the chicken and season with sea salt. Add the chicken stock to the pan. Roast for 1½ hours. Remove from oven, cover chicken loosely with foil and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Serve chicken with the leek, pan juices, green salad and creamy mashed potato, if desired.
Not suitable for freezing or microwaving.