Give Christ­mas some Miche­lin-star magic

From a spe­cial stuff­ing for the bird to her fam­ily’s favourite flo­ren­tines, An­gela Hart­nett lays on a mem­o­rable spread

The Sunday Telegraph - Sunday - - Front Page -

Pre­heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.

Set one car­rot, one cel­ery stick and the brown onion aside, and chop the rest of the veg­eta­bles into 5cm chunks (or wedges for the red onions). Set aside.

For the stuff­ing, heat a knob of but­ter in a pan and sauté the onion and gar­lic until soft but not coloured. Re­move from the heat and al­low to cool.

Place the pork and sausage meat in a bowl and add the cooled onion mix­ture, herbs, apri­cots, parme­san, al­monds and le­mon zest. Mix well to dis­trib­ute.

Squeeze the soaked bread to re­move any ex­cess milk, then add the bread to the stuff­ing mix­ture. Sea­son well and stir well again. You can check the sea­son­ing by fry­ing a small spoon­ful of the stuff­ing in a fry­ing pan – ad­just if nec­es­sary.

Lay the chicken on a board, skin-side down with the tail-end to­wards you. Pack the stuff­ing on to the flesh, cov­er­ing it com­pletely. Bring the sides to­gether to meet, en­clos­ing the stuff­ing, and thread the skin to­gether with three or four tooth­picks or a long skewer to secure. Turn the bird over, loop some string around both wings, pull it un­der­neath the bird to­wards the front and loop around the crossed drum­sticks be­fore ty­ing. Sea­son well. Cook the chopped veg­eta­bles in a lit­tle oil in a large fry­ing pan just to colour them, then tip them into a roast­ing tin in a sin­gle layer. Sea­son and add pars­ley or sage.

Chop the re­served veg­eta­bles into chunks and colour them in a lit­tle oil in the pan, then tip into a sec­ond roast­ing tin large enough to hold the bird.

Heat 50g of but­ter in the fry­ing pan. When it foams and bub­bles, add the chicken to colour it very gen­tly, care­fully turn­ing it

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